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Fw: New VA Center Planned for Sacramento in 2009

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  • Pacific Merchant Marine Council, NLUS
    letterdate Dear Members and Friends, Though the message below is not exactly PMMC material I thought you might be interested is something positive our U. S.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 10, 2008
      Dear Members and Friends,
      Though the message below is not exactly PMMC material I thought you might be interested is something positive our U. S. Congress did. I am particularly interested in the role my Congresswoman Doris Matsui had in making it all happen.
      She too is a strong supporter of H.R. 23, Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Act of 2007, and the council commends her for that as well.
      Let me know if your care to join the PMMC Legislative Committee. Members have the responsibly to call on members of Congress with our Navy League message. It is a national NLUS program implemented at the "Grass Roots" level.
      Look for more good news - our quarterly luncheon, 1130 Monday, 8 September, is coming together:
      • Location: Il Pirata, 2007 16th St., San Francisco
      • Meal: Classic Italian Family Style Mid-day lunch
      • Discussion topic: Piracy Today *
      • Feature film on big screen television: Porampo: Pirates of the Malacca Straits
      * Looking for a knowledgeable speaker
      Save the date and invite your friends. I haven't locked down the exact menu or the luncheon cost with the restaurant owner but if you send in your reservation check (payable to Phelps Hobart) for $25 in July it is all yours regardless of what it ends up costing. You won't go away hungry and you will be glad you are not on an unarmed merchant ship in Indonesian waters.
      Anchors Aweigh,
      Phelps Hobart
      Pacific Merchant Marine Council
      Navy League of the United States
      PO Box 191403
      Sacramento CA 95819-1403
      (916) 739-6949 | (916) 955-3972 Cell | PMMC@...
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2008 7:23 PM
      Subject: Fw: New VA Center Planned for Sacramento in 2009

      Anyone for some good news?
      Congresswoman Doris Matsui continues to carry on the good work of her late husband, Congressman Robert Matsui. It wasn't but three years ago that our new federal courthouse in downtown Sacramento had his name placed on it. Her district office is in the building and so is a field office for Senator Barbara Boxer.
      Though I don't see either frequently, the staff members know me when I appear for one reason or another. More often than not it is something related to the Navy League, military personnel, or veterans.
      Veterans come from throughout Northern California to visit Veterans Administration facilities in Sacramento. The Hospital at Mather Field, Rancho Cordova, continues to improve and same for the Clinic at McClellan Park. Then there is the Outreach Facility on Howe Avenue - it is this important facility that will be receiving the bulk of the funding.
      The House of Representatives is to be commended too for passing the Homes for Heroes Act (H.R. 3329) to expand housing assistance and supportive services for homeless veterans.
      The Veterans Administration cares for war veterans, young and old. Regretfully young veterans is the trend. The VA does not stand alone; the California Veterans Administration, is right in there too doing good work. Do I dare mention that Secretary Tom Johnston, Undersecretary Roger Brautigan, as well as Jack Kirwan, Chief of Administration are Navy Leaguers? Then there are the various veteran associations and their posts. Last but not least we have a new Veterans Cemetery outside of Dixon.
      Our Region President Don Hale cares too. That is why he took the unprecedented step to create the Vice President position that I am proud to fill.
      For sure it is frequently not pleasant for wounded veterans, but this nation clearly show its gratitude and concern with services provided by federal, state, and county service facilities.
      Phelps Hobart
      Vice President - Veteran Affairs
      Pacific Central Region
      Navy League of the United States
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2008 4:21 PM
      Subject: New VA Center Planned for Sacramento in 2009


      Wed., July 9, 2008

      Congresswoman Doris Matsui Announces new VA Vet Center

      Democratic Congress Continues to Deliver on Promise to Provide for Veterans,

      Legislation to Aide Homeless Veterans also Passes

      Washington , D.C. - Today, Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-05) announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs will open a new Vet Center in Sacramento County by the Fall of 2009. The new Vet Center was made possible by the $15 million funding increase for Vet Centers provided last year by the Democratic Congress. The additional resources will address the growing need for readjustment services to existing and new combat veterans. It will also assist families of those killed while on active duty and veterans experiencing military related sexual trauma.

      "Over the last year and a half, we have made landmark investments in veterans' services and funding. Now, as we prepare to welcome home the veterans currently serving our country, the new Vet Center will make sure that they have the tools and assistance they need to successfully reintegrate into our community," said Rep. Matsui.

      Combat veterans will receive readjustment counseling and other assistance in 39 additional sites across the country, including the new one in Sacramento County which will be open by the Fall of 2009.

      The existing 232 Vet Centers, including one on Howe Avenue, conduct community outreach to offer counseling on employment, family issues and education to combat veterans and family members, as well as bereavement counseling for families of service members killed on active duty and counseling for veterans who were sexually harassed on active duty.

      "I am committed to providing expansive services and resources to our veterans. They have given dedicated service to our country, and we must honor that service by providing for them. That is why I look forward to supporting this year's veterans appropriations bill, which provides an additional $10 million above the President's budget for Vet Centers," said Rep. Matsui.

      Vet Center services are available at no cost to veterans who experienced combat during any war. They are staffed by small teams of counselors, outreach workers and other specialists, many of whom are combat veterans. The Vet Center program was established in 1979 by Congress, recognizing that many Vietnam veterans were still having readjustment problems.

      The centers have hired 100 combat veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan as outreach specialists, often placing them near military processing stations, to brief servicemen and women leaving the military about VA benefits.

      Today, the U.S. House of Representatives also passed the Homes for Heroes Act (H.R. 3329) to expand housing assistance and supportive services for homeless veterans. The VA estimates that more than 400,000 veterans are homeless at some point during the year.

      The Homes for Heroes Act (H.R. 3329) includes the following programs:

      .   Establishes a supportive housing program at HUD for low-income veterans. The bill authorizes $200 million in FY 2008 and such sums as may be necessary in subsequent years for an assistance program at HUD for supportive housing and services for low-income veterans. Specifically, the bill authorizes grants to nonprofit organizations and consumer cooperatives to expand the supply of permanent housing for low-income veterans and their families and to provide supportive services through such housing to support the needs of such veteran families.

      .   Requires HUD to provide at least 20,000 rental vouchers a year for homeless veterans. The bill also expands the highly successful Department of Housing and Urban Development - Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH), authorizing 20,000 rental vouchers annually and making the program permanent.

      .   Establishes the position of Special Assistant for Veterans Affairs within HUD. The bill requires HUD to create a position within the department to serve as the liaison to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Among other things, the liaison would ensure that the owners of housing projects assisted under the bill have the managerial capacity to assess on an ongoing basis the service needs of residents, coordinate the provision of supportive services, and tailor such services to the individual needs of residents.

      .   Requires a comprehensive annual report on homeless veterans. The bill requires HUD to submit a comprehensive annual report to Congress on the housing needs of homeless veterans and the steps HUD has taken under the programs provided for in the bill.

      .   Ensures veterans' families continued assistance. The bill allows veterans' families to continue to receive the assistance provided for in the bill in the event of the veteran's death.


      Note: Please do not respond directly to this e-mail. To serve my constituents most effectively, I have dedicated a portion of my website to constituent e-mails. To write me, please visit http://matsui.house.gov/email.asp.


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