VAM Email Alert: May 2020

May 2020


Dear VAM Member,

This Memorial Day seemed a little different. Beyond the lack of families piling in SUVs to head to the closest beach, there was something the COVID-19 pandemic was reminding us about how change effects our lives. When someone falls in the line of duty, those around them mourn the loss, remember the fallen and carry on the mission, but their lives are forever altered. Those that survive the fallen have witnessed true sacrifice and commitment; qualities that some say are rarities in the present time.

What felt different this Memorial Day was that sacrifice, honor, courage, and commitment were evident all around us. Medically trained reservists have answered the call to duty, assisting Americans stricken by the coronavirus without a second thought. Doctors and nurses put themselves in harm’s way day in and day out. National Guard members have deployed to assist in hard hit areas. Much like myeloma, COVID-19 is deadly and invisible, but whatever the enemy, we as Americans continue to answer the call.

This Memorial Day, we remembered the fallen, but we also recognized now, more than ever, that the extraordinary qualities of those who made the ultimate sacrifice are on display all around us. We will remain strong and resilient as we honor the memory of those who have already proven the American spirit to be so.

Leave a Tribute on Veterans Legacy Memorial Website

The Veterans Legacy Memorial (VLM) website is the nation’s first digital platform dedicated entirely to the memory of the 3.7 million Veterans interred in VA national cemeteries. The VA invites family, friends, and visitors to leave tributes or comments on Veteran’s memorial pages.


VA Charts Path to Reopening

In early May, the Department of Veterans Affairs re-opened 20 facilities for non-coronavirus care as part of a phased plan to bring the VA back to pre-pandemic operation. The plan, which has three phases, will be dependent upon the ability to minimize and control exposure and infection levels and to maintain a constant decrease over time. The plan operates on the presumption that the pandemic is not over, and if not managed properly the virus could experience a resurgence at VA facilities, which have seen over 1000 deaths in the last three months.

VA officials said they will not be making any changes to employee and patient screening at hospitals for now, and physical distancing and face masks will still be mandated at all sites. Department officials are also promising to continue to use telehealth and other remote medical tools “as these services have been a valuable link to veterans during this challenging time.”

To read the more about the VA’s re-opening plan, CLICK HERE.

Bipartisan Group of Congressional Leaders Request GAO Oversight of VA Drug Supply and VA Covid-19 Funds

On May 12, 2020, The Leaders of The House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees sent a letter requesting the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to produce a report. They requested the report to detail how the COVID-19 emergency funding is being spent so they can examine the VA’s effectiveness at managing the crisis funding, particularly surrounding the medical supply chain to ensure veterans do not face drug shortages in the future.

To read the full letter, click here.

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