Not much is to talked about when it comes to the subject of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

And so, let us attempt to illuminate ourselves about the mission of this court.

On Nov. 18, 1988, President Reagan singed into law the Veterans' Judicial Review Act, which established as a court of record the United States Court of Veterans Appeals.

Pursuant to the Veterans' Programs Enhancement Act of 1988 and effective March 1, 1999, the court's name was changed to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

As a court of record, the court is part of the United States judiciary and not part of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The laws creating and establishing the court are codified in chapter 72 of title 38, United States Code.

The court has authorized seven permanent, active judges, and two additional judges as part of a temporary expansion provision. Judges generally are appointed for 15-year terms, and each judge has the option upon retirement to agree to be available for further service as a recall-eligible senior judge. during any period of recall service, a senior judge has all of the judicial authority and powers of a judge in active service.

The court has exclusive jurisdiction over decisions of the Board of Veterans' Appeals (Board or BVA) The court reviews Board decisions appealed to claimants who believe the Board erred in its decision. The court review of Board decisions is based on the record before the agency and arguments of the parties, which are presented in a written brief, with oral argument generally held only in cases presenting new legal issues.

The court's principal office is in Washington, D.C., but the court is authorized to site anywhere in the United States and does so a limited number of times each year.

Remember: You must have a final decision from the Board of Veterans' Appeals -- not the Regional Office -- before you can appeal to this Court.

The court's address is 625 Indiana Ave., Washington, D.C. 20004-2950. For more information, call the Court at 202-501-5970.

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Vietnam Veterans Day in Ohio: I wrote about this special day in a column last month. This is a reminder that the day will be observed in Columbus March 26 through March 29.

It is the first statewide commemoration since Gov. John Kasich signed Senate Bill 134 designating March 30 of each year as "Vietnam Veterans Day in Ohio."

If you can help you are asked to email volunteer coordinator George Dountz at or call 614-989-3844 so you can be assigned an appropriate volunteer responsibility.

The Ohio Department of Veterans Services has all of the details on its web site: Or you can call Mike McKinney at 614-728-0235.

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Briefly: Poppy Days will be conducted May 9, 10 and 11 by members of American Legion Post 193 and Auxiliary. Members will present poppies to customers at the Middlefield and Huntington Banks in Garretsville as well as banks in Mantua. .

VFW Twinsburg Post 4929 will conduct its annual flag disposal ceremony, April 27, at noon, at Glen Chamberlin Park. American flags that need to be retired because of their physical condition can be dropped off at Twinsburg Public Library, Twinsburg City Hall, or Richner Hardware.

The Polish Legion of American Veterans will sponsor its annual Evening in Warasaw, April 6, at the Birchwood Party Center in Northfield. For more information, call Rich Kruzer at 216-741-8157.

The Catholic War Veterans, Department of Ohio, will convene its state convnention, April 12-14, in Perrysburg. For more information, call Steve Dzurnak at 216-662-7203.

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Remember our men and women serving America in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and at other dangerous assignments around the world.

Keep them in your daily prayers. And send a letter and package of goodies. It will truly make their day.

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