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Accompanied by VFW Washington Officer Executive Director Robert E. Wallace, Mr. Hamilton also met with U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, was briefed on political-military issues by U.S. Defense Attaché Brig. Gen. Peter Zwack and was able to meet with the Marine Security Guard Detachment and other embassy staff.

In Italy, he received update briefings by U.S. Army Garrison-Vicenza, U.S. Army Africa and the 173rd Airborne Brigade, as well as installation tours of the medical clinic and warrior transition unit, along with lunch with the troops and dinner with local VFW Post 8862. He would also have validated the military’s top personnel concerns: threats to their pay and benefits, retirement system and other Quality of Life programs. Mr. Hamilton promised to continue to champion their issues in the White House and in Congress.

The VFW national commander also attended the VFW Eastern Conference meeting in Germany and placed a VFW wreath at the American Cemetery in Normandy, France, to commemorate the 68th anniversary of the D-Day landing.

This trip followed one he made to the People’s Republic of China in May to help U.S. researchers gain further access into China’s military archives. He also met and thanked American military and civilians assigned to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Thailand and Vietnam who do the onsite investigations and recoveries in Southeast Asia.

The VFW and its auxiliaries are dedicated to veterans’ service, legislative advocacy, and military and community service programs nationwide. For more information or to join, visit www.vfw.org.

“Overseas trips are vitally necessary because of VFW’s international work on the POW/MIA issue, which is unmatched by any other veterans’ organization,” Mr. Hamilton said. “It’s also a great opportunity to personally express our entire organization’s appreciation to our military and civilian personnel serving around the world and to thank our overseas VFW comrades for what they do daily to support the troops and their families.”

For more on U.S. full accounting efforts, go to the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office website or the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command website.

Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330, call 202/257-5446 or email sgtshaft@bavf.org.