Schools are in session, fall is in the air, and elections are on the horizon.

In this update I am including information on exercising your right to vote, a name change for the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program, notes from the October JLC meeting, how to have secure messaging with the VA, and an article about the Army urging schools to comply with the Education Compact. I close with announcements of veteran related events that may be of interest.

Exercise Your Right to Vote

With just over a week to Election Day, I want to make sure you have all the resources you need to be prepared at the polls on November 3rd. Remember you will need to bring photo identification with you to vote.

Visit  Vote Virginia to make sure your registration is up-to-date. Click the green “GO” button to get started.

 

Click here to see what will be on your ballot and confirm your polling place.

 

Absentee voting is a great option for busy professionals, college students, or any voters who may be unable to vote in person on Election Day. To make sure your voice is heard, you can vote in-person absentee at your local Registrar’s office through October 31st. Applications for a mailed absentee ballot must be received by the local Registrar’s office by October 27th. The deadline to return a mailed absentee ballot is Election Day, November 3rd.

Again, please remember to vote on November 3rd. Continue to check for campaign updates by liking my Facebook page.
Virginia Wounded Warrior Program Name Change

On October 1st the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program upgraded their name and services to Virginia Veteran and Family Support (VVFS). Since its inception in 2008 the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program has expanded its services from supporting wounded warriors to include support for veterans and their families.

The VVFS program provides a statewide delivery and response system for behavioral health, rehabilitative, and supportive services for military members, veterans, and their families. The new name is a better portrayal of all the services provided by this important program.

Click here to view a flyer on this programs.
Joint Leadership Council (JLC) Meeting Update
The JLC approved eight Legislative Objectives (LOs) for the 2016 Session of the General Assembly. To view a summary of these LOs click here. 

The Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, Admiral Harvey, presented four 2016 Budget Priorities/Legislative Priorities for consideration.  For a summary of these initiatives click here. Because of the great work accomplished in the last General Assembly Session in successfully passing my legislation creating 2 new veteran Care Centers, this issue was already #1 on the JLC list. Background papers will be developed and the list reprioritized at the JLC December meeting.

The JLC Storming the Hill is scheduled for January 14, 2016.

Secure Messaging with the VA

Secure Messaging is now available with the Veteran Affairs (VA) health activities. It lets you communicate online with staff at your VA facility.
Secure Messaging allows you to:
  • Ask non-urgent, non-emergency health related questions
  • Update your VA health care team on your health condition
  • Request VA referrals and medication renewals
  • Manage your VA appointments
  • Receive educational material from the  Veterans Health Library
  • Ask routine administrative questions
  • Request information on consenting to the release of health records

To find out more about Secure Messaging, click here.

 Vet Affairs website pic

Log in to  My HealtheVet and select the Secure Messaging tab to start using Secure Messaging now!
Army Willing to Urge Schools to Comply with Compact to Ease Kids’ Transfers
As Chairman of the Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, I wanted to share the below article with you. One of the Council’s main priorities is to smooth the transition for military children transferring to a new school.
If schools aren’t complying with an interstate agreement designed to smooth the transition for military children transferring to a new school district, families should make sure military leaders are aware, the Army’s top officer said this week during a session at the Association of the U.S. Army annual meeting.
“Don’t assume we know,” said Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia had adopted the Interstate Compact for Educational Opportunity for Military Children as of last year, with states now in various stages of implementing the agreement, reported Army Times.
The goal of the interstate compact is to make transition easier so that military children – who typically attend from six to nine different school systems from K-12 – are afforded the same opportunities as other children. The compact requires participating states to follow common guidelines in handling issues such as enrollment, class placement, records transfer, immunization requirements, graduation requirements, attendance, exit testing and extracurricular opportunities.

And while the military doesn’t have the authority to enforce the compact, the services are trying to encourage schools to follow its provisions, officials said during the family forum.

If schools are not following the agreement, there’s the option of talking about it “in the public sphere,” Milley said. “[But] we prefer states do it of their own volition,” he said. “For the most part, it’s being done.”

Dan Cohen, Author

Upcoming Events of Interest
The Families of the Wounded Fund is hosting its 8th Annual Golf Classic at the Birkdale Golf Club in Chesterfield, Virginia on November 11, 2015.
Click here for the flyer and entry information.
Representatives from the Virginia Transition Assistance Program (VTAP) will be on site to provide information at this free event, Wednesday, October 28 from 7:30am until 3:15pm at the Peninsula Workforce Development Center, 600 Butler Farm Road, Hampton, VA 23666. Registration is limited. Click here to register online. Event will include tips on Successful Networking, Resume Review, Interview Skills and the ability to meet with potential employers on site.
Questions? Contact: Allen Fryman
Virginia Transition Assistance Program (VTAP) Coordinator
VA health care and Wallgreens

VA Values Veterans V3 Program

Upcoming V3 Training Events
October 28th
V3 Training Day – Suffolk
8:30 – 12:30
The Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Program will host an employer training day for companies interested in learning why and how to hire Veterans. This curriculum is a general survey curriculum designed for a broad range of company sizes and industries.
This event will:
·         Educate employers on the Value of hiring Veterans
·         Train employers on leading best practices in recruiting, hiring, and retaining Veterans
·         Connect employers with valuable resources to find qualified Veteran talent
·         Has been approved for 2.5 Credit Hours for HRCI and SHRM
November 6th
V3 Ambassador Webinar
12:00 – 12:30
This 30 minute webinar will educate you on the Virginia Values Veterans Program and provide you resources to help spread the word and increase participation. It is designed to provide you a foundational knowledge about the mission and goals of the V3 Program.
C/E Credit: 1
Along with campaigning for re-election, members of the General Assembly are already making preparations for the 2016 General Assembly. The level of activity is increasing as we approach the 60 day 2016 Session that starts on January 13, 2016.