Weekly Embassy Report OCT 6- OCT 12

Veteran News Weekly Report

The launch of New SpaceX Satellite, The First Time a First-Stage Rocket is Landed on The West Coast

 According to the Air Force Times, residents of on the central California coast were warned by the Air Force that they might see multiple engines burns when the first-stage Rocket by SpaceX was launched, as possibly hear multiple sonic booms as the rocket returned. But many were still surprised as people from as far away as Phoenix and Sacramento were able to capture photos of the launch.

The launch of this rocket also marked the first time that the space exploration company landed a first stage rocket at its original launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base, roughly 130 miles away from Los Angeles. This is the first time that SpaceX lands a first-stage rocket on the west coast.

 

House Representative Calls for an End for the War in Afghanistan

Seventeen years after the start of the war in Afghanistan, Democratic representative, Ruben Gallego from Arizona, calls for an end to the war. Gallego is a Marine Corps veteran who served in combat in Iraq and is continuing to be a very open critic of what he calls the “perpetual war”

He is quoted in Military Times as saying, “It’s clear that continuing on the current course is not in our national interest,” he said. “American troops should come home. Our objectives following (the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks) were to destroy al-Qaida, kill Osama bin Laden, and prevent a recurrence of an ungoverned space in Afghanistan that allowed for terrorists to plot and plan attacks on Americans and our allies. We accomplished all of those objectives years ago.”

Ruben Gallego is calling for a responsible withdrawal of troops, but, he says it must be done without additional delays.

 

Second Lady: It is “Imperative” that we Support our Military Spouses

At the 2018 Association of the U.S. Army annual meeting, second lady Karen Pence told an audience of Army spouses and leaders that the current administration finds it “imperative” that we support all of our military spouses and children. She recently launched a campaign aimed to “elevate and encourage military spouses.”

Karen Pence also said that she has held active group sessions with military spouses across the country and overseas in order to listen to their stories and learn more about what is needed of the government in order to help. Some issues that kept coming up in the conversation were finding jobs when you are always moving and when your career requires specific licensing like teachers or doctors, child care, and finding work overseas on military bases.

President Trump has signed an executive order asking different federal agencies to explore options that provide help or aid to military spouses as well as asking them to hire more spouses.

-Military Times

 

A charity that Pays for Veteran Funerals Under Federal Investigation

Dog Tag Furniture is a company that builds and sells wooden American flags as well as other patriotic products. Publicly, they present themselves as a charity organization that helps to fund the funerals of veterans through donations and sales of the wooden flags. But this organization is now under investigation by both the FBI and the U.S. Postal service because of money laundering and wire fraud allegations.

According to a sworn affidavit that was attached to a federal search warrant request “Troy Walker [Owner of Dog Tag Furniture]…both solicited donations to Dog Tag Furniture and sold wooden flags to customers of Dog Tag Furniture by falsely representing to donors and customers that Dog Tag Furniture was a charitable organization and that all of the proceeds of donations and sales would be used to provide funerals for military veterans.”

Monies acquired from sales and donations were allegedly not being completely used for the funerals of military veterans. Instead Troy Walker and his wife Ranemma used a large amount of the money for personal purposes including: tattoo parlor payments, private school tuition for their children, as well as $9,000 spent at Disney, $5,000 in “food and entertainment”, and $7,000 to a law firm representing the couple in a different case. Military Times has provided this information based on the affidavit that was acquired from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Walker’s have yet to be charged with any crime and federal investigations will continue.

 

2.8% Increase in Veteran Cost of Living

Starting this December, veterans that receive disability pay and military retirees are going to see a 2.8% increase in their cost-of-living allowances. This is the most significant increase to this allowance in over six years.

This was announced Thursday by the Social Security Administration. President Donald Trump signed it into law on Tuesday. Other boosts to look forward to are compensation for dependents, clothing allowances, as well as other boosts to veteran’s benefits. All slated to begin at the beginning of January according to Military Times.

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