Veterans Issues and Bills



Normally I try and reformat this stuff to make it easier to read but it is taking time at present I do not have.


I did highlight the ones that I think are important for most of us but we have a wide variety of situations in our group so I might have missed some that you may find important.




> == Tricare User Fee [13] --------------------- (On hold till JAN 08)
> == Social Security Reform ------------------- (Death benefit cut)
> == VA Appointments [02[ -------------------- (Longer waiting times)
> == VDBC [03] --------------------------------- (VA Comp + SSDI?)
> == Funeral Disorderly Conduct [04] -------- (CA legislation)
> == VA DNA Database ------------------------ (Begins FY 07)
> == Tricare Uniform Formulary [11] -------- (More changes)
> == NGB DOD Representation --------------- (H.R.5200/S.2658)
> == TRDP [04] ------------------------------ (Dental premium increase)
> == Tricare Computers Hacked --------------- (14000 files accessed)
> == Cold War Medal --------------------------- (Proposed again)
> == AAAFES Gas Pricing Policy ------------ (Not tax free)
> == VA Alert on VAS ------------------------- (Copycat website)
> == Consumer Health Digest ----------------- (Phony health care)
> == COLA 2007 [01] -------------------------- (CPI up 1.3% to date )
> == SSMAC Lodging New York ------------ (Inexpensive w/no frills)
> == Tricare Obesity Treatment --------------- (Limited to 3 types)
> == Virginia Tuition [01] --------------------- (Vet reduced rates)
> == TMOP [04] -------------------------------- (Enrollment procedures)
> == Jobs w/o College Degree Rqmt ---------  (20 top paying)
> == Enlistment to Avoid Prosecution -------- (No longer allowed)
> == DoD SMART Scholarships -------------- (How to apply)
> == VA Cemeteries [01] ----------------------- (Burial eligibility)
> == Military Legislation Status --------------- (Update)
> TRICARE USER FEE UPDATE 13:  Two key personnel proposals in the White
> House's fiscal 2007 defense budget plan were blocked by the House Armed
> Services subcommittee on 26 APR.  John McHugh (R-NY) the day before
> announced in advance that the military personnel subcommittee he chairs
would not approve a Bush administration proposal to increase Tricare fees
> for military retirees under age 65 and their families who are enrolled in
> Tricare Standard and Tricare Prime.
  Every member of the panel voted
> against this. Also, the Committee has recommended a 2.7% military raise
> vice the 2.2% the Bush budget proposal called for.  McHugh said in a
> statement released by his office, "Though DoD's proposal was meant to be a
> cost-saving measure, it is the wrong way to go about it". It is unusual
> for a Committee member to talk in advance about what will be included in
> the defense bill. However, the subcommittee's strong opposition was well
> known, so McHugh was not saying anything unexpected. The proposed fee
> increases, he said, "sent a message to the many men and women who have
> served our nation through their military service that we're going back on
> a promise that was made them.  We simply are not going to burden retirees
> with increased costs at this time.”  Instead, the subcommittee's version
> of the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R.5122) calls for
> studies of military health care costs.  The studies (one by the Government
> Accountability Office, the bipartisan investigative arm of Congress, and
> the other by the Defense Department) are to fully account for health care
> funding and look at alternatives to fee increases.
Whether the Senate will approve any part of the administrations
> TRICARE fee adjustments is still a little uncertain. Lindsey Graham
> (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate military personnel subcommittee, wants
> them delayed and an independent review conducted of real TRICARE cost
> growth and the projected cost-savings from the administration's plan.
> McHugh said what doomed that plan in the House were both the timing and
> the details.
Timing in the sense that the nation is fighting a war and
> that some of those warriors who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan soon
> would be among the pool of Tricare beneficiaries targeted by the higher
> fees. That bothered many lawmakers who also had great concern over
> specifics of the plan. The increases were seen as too steep and too swift,
> with Tricare Prime enrollment fees leaping 200% over two years for senior
> enlisted retirees and 300% for retired officers. The projected
> cost-savings of $11 billion by 2011 also was suspect. Most of it would
> come from assumed behavior modification and not from added revenues from
> the higher fees. DoD was betting that large numbers of beneficiaries
> working in second careers either would stop using TRICARE or would decide
> not to shift into TRICARE from employer-provided health plans. The
> Congressional Budget Office already had lowered the administration's
> estimate of $735 million in cost-savings for fiscal 2007 if all fee hikes
> were adopted.
Language approved by the subcommittee specifically would prohibit the
> Defense Department from raising beneficiary cost-shares until 31 DEC 07
> for Tricare Prime (the managed care plan), Tricare Standard (the
> fee-for-service option) and Tricare Reserve Select.  Congress will have to
> try to accommodate the loss of those cost-savings in shaping the rest of
> the defense budget.
Still alive, McHugh suggested, are some aspects of the
> administration's plan to change the co-payment schedule for the TRICARE
> retail and mail-order pharmacy benefit.  The subcommittee liked the idea
> of ending a $3 co-payment on generic drugs obtained by mail. McHugh was
> silent on the other proposed changes. Defense officials also want to raise
> the co-pay in the retail network from $3 to $5 for generic drugs and from
> $9 up to $15 for brand name drugs. What the subcommittee is recommending
> on this will be revealed at the full committee mark up. The full armed
> services committee will hold its mark up of the bill May 3 and additional
> amendments impacting military personnel will be voted on.
>     The subcommittee also recommended some low or no-cost provisions in
> its version of the 2007 defense authorization bill:
> . A Cold War Victory Medal for people who spent at least 180 days on
> active duty between 1945 and 1991.
> . An order that the remains of military personnel who die in a combat zone
> be transported by military aircraft and be met by a military honor guard
> that provides full honors, rather than being shipped as freight on
> commercial airliners.
> . A proposed pilot program in which the government would pay for some
> over-the-counter drugs in addition to prescription drug coverage for
> military health care beneficiaries.
> . Add $100 million more for Army recruiting and retention bonuses; $59
> million for Air National
> Guard bonuses; and raise the ceiling of special pay for Selected Reserve
> health care professionals in critical wartime specialties from $10,000 to
> $25,000.
> . Sustain the same 30,000 troop-level increase the Army was allowed for
> FY2006 and add an extra 1,000 for the Marines above the 2006 level.
> Restore the full strength of 350,000 for Army National Guard, vs. the
> 333,000 proposed in the Defense budget. Reduce Navy manpower
> authorizations by 12,000 and Air Force strength by 23,000.
> [Source: Times staff writer Rick Maze & Tom Philpott articles
> 25 & 26 Apr 06 ++]
> SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM: Proposals to trim Social Security benefits
> continue this year.  President Bush's 2007 budget, among other reductions,
> calls for the elimination of the $255 lump-sum Social Security death
> benefit.  Many people are not even aware of the entitlement. The payment
> began in 1939 to assist families with funeral expenses and the amount was
> last adjusted in 1952.  Today it hardly covers the cost of flowers, let
> alone a funeral, but cutting the benefit would do little to improve Social
> Security's finances. Despite the ongoing proposals for cuts, efforts to
> provide a $5,000 lump-sum are resulting in the highest level of support in
> Congress for Notch Reform in well over a decade.  The "Notch" refers to a
> benefit disparity that occurred when Congress enacted changes to the
> Social Security benefit formula in 1977.  In that legislation, Congress
> provided a transition benefit formula to phase in the changes.  The
> transition formula affected seniors who first became eligible to retire
> just two years after the legislation was enacted, but in almost every case
> the transition benefit formula failed to provide any protection from deep
> benefit cuts.  Transition plans historical have not been very protective
> of beneficiaries.  A recent failed transition plan occurred this year.  On
> 1 JAN 06 about 6.2 million of the nation's poorest and sickest Medicare
> beneficiaries were transferred from state Medicaid drug coverage and
> automatically assigned to Medicare Part D drug plans.  Despite the
> government having a transition plan in place to prevent disruptions in
> coverage, hundreds of thousands of seniors were overcharged for their
> drugs, many were denied their prescriptions, and forced to leave their
> pharmacies empty handed.  Congress and the Administration are still
> working on correcting all the problems.
>     Representative Ralph Hall (D-TX) early last year re-introduced The
> Notch Fairness Act (H.R. 615). The bill has 93 co-sponsors in Congress and
> the number is growing rapidly.  This legislation would allow Notch Babies
> born from 1917 through 1926 their choice of a $5,000 lump-sum payable in
> four annual installments or an improved monthly benefit.  The legislation
> would allow eligible survivors of Notch Babies, persons who receive Social
> Security benefits based on the account of a Notch Baby, to receive up to
> 100% of the benefit payable to the deceased. In some cases, where the
> surviving spouse is younger, or there is a disabled child, the higher
> monthly benefit might be preferable because presumably it would be payable
> for a longer period of time.  In addition, the Notch Reform benefit would
> be split among eligible survivors, for example, a widow and a former
> divorced spouse.  Under these circumstances the higher monthly benefit may
> also yield more than the lump-sum.  But for most Notch Babies or their
> survivors the lump-sum payment would most likely provide a higher benefit.
> Most surviving children would not be eligible for Notch Fairness Act
> benefits, but the issue should concern every single child of a Notch Baby.
> Recent Social Security reform proposals to attach a price index to the
> Social Security benefit formula would cut benefits for future retirees in
> a manner similar to the 1977 changes that led to the Notch.  In addition,
> Congress thus far has taken no constructive non-partisan action to address
> Social Security's looming shortfall - meaning they may have to make very
> deep and abrupt cuts when they can no longer stall for time.  Only last
> year the Comptroller General of the United States, David Walker, warned
> Congress saying, "Doing nothing, means that we are going to head to a
> precipitous decline in benefits.  Remember the Notch Baby problem?  This
> would be a Notch Baby problem magnified multiple times and it should not
> be allowed to happen." [Source: TSCL Newsletter 25 Apr 06]
> V
A APPOINTMENTS UPDATE 02:   Waiting times for first time medical exams in
> VA are continuing to lengthen. As of APR 05 there are 15,211 veterans
> waiting for their first exams.  A year later the number has doubled to
> 30,475.  The number of veterans waiting for their first exam is the
> highest since JUL 03 when there were 57, 609.  Also, as of APR 06 the
> number of disability cases waiting adjudication was 372,328 which is an
> increase over last year at this time when there were 344,916 cases. Of
> these the number of cases with over 180 days wait time has grown to 95,529
> compared to last year when there were 74,491.  These figures are in
> conflict with Secretary of Veterans Affairs R. James Nicholson comment in
> FRB 06 when he indicted that last year, 97% of veterans who requested a
> primary care appointment got that appointment within 30 days, and 95% of
> those who requested an acute care appointment got it within 30 days.  An
> inspector general's audit found real problems with the way the VA had come
> up with those numbers.  The audit found that some VA staff,
> "pressured," actually fudged the numbers,
and error rates were as high as
> 61%.



>    Since 2004, the number of newly eligible people waiting for
> appointments has increased by 400 percent. Rep. Michael Michaud [D-ME]
> ranking Democrat on the veterans' affairs committee's health panel, said
> the situation is "simply unacceptable," especially because the Bush
> administration has opposed efforts in Congress to increase the VA's health
> care budget. The Secretary and the Administration point out that they have
> almost doubled the V budget sine they took over.  The administration did
> not ask for any emergency funding for the VA, claiming that the 2006
> budget was sufficient after it was boosted by Congress last year when the
> VA admitted to funding shortfalls.  However, in spite of funding
> increases, VA's cost-cutting moves have locked more than a quarter million
> veterans out of the system.  In January 06, the administration asked for
> $38.5 billion for veterans' health care programs for 2007, an amount
> Democrats have said is $3.6 billion less than needed.
>     The 31,000 veterans waiting for their first appointment are those with
> service-connected injuries or who have little or no income. That figure
> would be much higher if the Bush administration in 2003 had not barred new
> enrollments in the VA health care system of veterans who have modest
> incomes and no service-connected disabilities or medical problems.
> Michaud said the enrollment ban should be lifted. Considering White House
> budget office cuts in the VA budget outlined for 2008 with additional
> reductions in the following two years the future for veterans waiting for
> appointments does not look good. VA will be severely handicapped in any
> attempt to improve veteran services in this area unless they ask for and
> receive sufficient funds to meet the demands.  [Source: Rick Maze
> NavyTimes article 20 Apr 06 ++]



> VDBC UPDATE 03: The Veterans' Disability Benefits Commission (VDBC) wants
> to study if vets should get VA compensation and Social Security disability
> at the same time. The commission's Chair, General Terry Scott, has asked
> Congress for clarification of the intent of Congress in the Charter that
> was given to the VDBC and has requested that clarification for the next
> Commission public meeting 19 MAY 06. If approved he intends to launch the
> study. It appears the VDBC is about evenly split on the idea of studying
> the SSDI issue.  General Scott's request has raised major concerns among
> the veteran organizations.  Christopher J. Clay, General Counsel for the
> DAV, has written to the four congressional committee Chairmen involved.
> In part, Clay's letter states:  ".[General Scott's] request, if
> honored.would violate one of the fundamental principles which have guided
> the government of the United States for more than 200 years.  That
> principle is the separation of powers.  Congress exercises the sole power to
> enact laws while the Judicial and Executive Branches have the power to say
> what those laws mean.neither a committee of either the House or Senate nor
> the full Congress may interpret a statute after it is enacted, without
> passing a new law.The DAV is unaware of any precedent for the
> congressional interpretations requested by the Commission Chairman.  If
> the Committee responds to the Chairman's inquiry, it will set a precedent
> that the courts are no longer the sole arbiters of disputes over our
> laws."
>     Last fall the VDBC issued a list of questions they would study.  They
> asked for veterans input but only allowed them a few days to respond. The
> questions signaled the direction of the VDBC.  One question was:  "Does
> the disability benefit provided affect a veteran's incentive to work?" At
> the Commission's March 16-17 meeting some of its members maneuvered to
> authorize collecting data about Social Security Disability Insurance
> (SSDI) benefits paid to veterans who also receive VA disability
> compensation. That was apparently done with a view toward an offset
> [reduction] of disability insurance if the veteran receives disability
> compensation from the VA." A move to sidestep proper procedures and hold a
> secret ballot on the matter was postponed, but the issue is expected to
> resurface at the commission's meeting in May.  The idea that disability
> compensation is some kind of income security or welfare program cheapens
> the service and sacrifice of disabled veterans. Veterans' benefits are
> separate and distinct from Social Security, so receiving payments under
> both programs is not dual compensation for the same disability, as some
> have tried to argue." That kind of thinking might also open the door to
> cutting off VA compensation when a disabled veteran becomes eligible for
> Social Security retirement benefits. If so, it could lay the groundwork
> for cutting or eliminating veterans' benefits as a way of saving the
> government money.
>     The (VDBC) was established by Public Law 108-136 and signed into being
> by President Bush in NOV 03.  Its charter states they are to study
> "whether a veteran's disability or death should be compensated" and at
> what level if any. The Commission is independent of the Department of
> Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense. It is made up of 13
> political appointees.  Four were appointed by Democratic Members of
> Congress, four more by Republican Members and the other five by President
> Bush.  The Commission refers to themselves as bipartisan in spite of it
> being a 9-4 politically-stacked deck in favor of the present
> administration.  They can be contacted at
> or (202) 756-7729/0229 Fax or by
> writing the Commission's Executive Director at 1101 Pennsylvania Ave NW,
> 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20004.  Its remaining schedule includes visits
> to St. Louis (May), San Diego (June), Seattle (July), Boston (August), and
> Atlanta (September). Interested veterans, retirees, survivors, and
> currently serving members are encouraged to attend and be heard.
> Additional information on the Disability Commission and upcoming field
> hearings can be found at: [Source: Vet
> Advocate Larry Scott article 24 Apr 06 ++]

> restrictions on picketing has been introduced in the California
> legislature by Assemblyman Rick Keene (R-Chico). This legislation makes it
> unlawful for a person to engage in picketing at a funeral during the
> period beginning one hour prior to the funeral and ending one hour after
> the conclusion of the funeral; provides for criminal penalties up to $1000
> in fines or six months in county jail; permits a court to provide
> injunctive relief and award damages, including punitive damages.
> "Picketing" is defined as "protest activities" engaged in by any person
> within 300 feet of a cemetery, mortuary, or church. "Protest activities"
> is defined to include oration or speeches, using sound amplification
> targeted at funeral participants, displaying placards, signs, or flags, or
> other similar material, or distributing handbills, leaflets, or other
> written material, where such activity is not a part of the planned funeral
> services. AB2707 has already been passed by the Assembly Committee on
> Judiciary and will have another hearing by the Committee on Public Safety
> in late April.  The bill was prompted by the activity of Rev. Fred Phelps,
> a Kansas pastor who has used funerals, including most recently the
> funerals of American troops killed in Iraq, to disseminate his anti-gay
> message and his belief that the United States has been "taken over" by
> homosexuals. Similar laws have either been passed or are under
> consideration in other states and at the federal level because of
> activities that have been going on around the country during funeral
> services for military personnel.  The bill is being opposed by the
> American Civil Liberties Union and some labor groups. [Source: VFW
> California Veterans Affairs Legislative Update 23 Apr 06 ++]
VA DNA DATABASE:  Researchers at U.S. companies, nonprofit groups and
> government agencies are scouring the human genome for links to common
> diseases, promising a day when doctors will use a patient's genetic
> profile to take preventative action. Military veterans soon will be asked
> to volunteer their DNA for that cause.
The Department of Veterans Affairs
> plans a genetic database from potentially millions of VA patients,
> launching into profound legal, ethical and privacy debates to claim a
> leading role in genetic medicine. The VA intends to collect the first
> 100,000 samples in fiscal 2007and foresees a database as large as veterans
> will allow. The VA intends to establish rules for handling a person's
> genetic profile while using it in research and to identify an individual's
> risk of diabetes, heart problems, cancers and other conditions. VA
> officials and genetics experts said they hope the effort will provide a
> handbook for private health care providers and corporate labs to act
> responsibly in the race for genetic tests and services.
>     The benefits could be enormous, but some experts say so could the
> risks. Emerging technology makes it possible to reveal a person's
> strengths and weaknesses, the likelihood of medical conditions, maybe
> alcoholic tendencies, and reactions to specific drugs. Concerns are
> growing about ownership of genetic samples, how they are obtained, and
> whether consent applies to unforeseen uses years in the future. Watchdog
> groups worry about genetic discrimination by insurance companies and
> employers. Many veterans already are wary of Uncle Sam, remembering that
> their ranks have been exposed to chemical agents on the battlefield and in
> secret human experiments. Because of this the American Legion anticipates
> veterans will be reluctant to participate. VA officials said samples would
> be taken only with permission. VA Secretary Jim Nicholson has appointed a
> nine member panel, mostly of respected geneticists, to hash out issues
> surrounding the project. The only representative of veterans on te panel
> is the executive director of the Disabled American Veterans. Issues to be
> decided but are not limited to are if a person is at genetic risk of
> diabetes but has no symptoms, what course should doctors take? If a person
> has a 1% chance of developing a severe cancer later in life, should he be
> told? Who should have access to that information?
>     The VA essentially acts as provider and insurer for 7.7 million
> people. It uses one of the most sophisticated electronic patient record
> systems in the country and has a research arm that has led advances in
> many fields. VA officials said the first 100,000 samples are a preliminary
> step to learn about costs and practical issues while the committee does
> its work. The panel has not yet met, but Nicholson is touting it. VA
> officials said the department is compelled to jump into this expanding
> field. Recently, researchers for the CDC reported they identified genes
> responsible for chronic fatigue syndrome, a condition often associated
> with soldiers from the first Gulf War who returned with
> difficult-to-diagnose problems that the VA has studied for years.
> Suddenly, better diagnosis and treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome seem
> on the horizon. Prenatal screening for genetic disorders is old news, and
> the number of possible tests has grown to about 1,000, mostly for rare
> disorders. Now doctors are hunting for genes and combinations of genes
> pointing to more common problems. To be viable medical tool veterans, and
> the American public, need to be convinced that being in a genetic database
> is safe and free of privacy and discrimination issues. [Source: The Ledger
> Online News Washington Bureau 23 Apr 06]
> TRICARE UNIFORM FORMULARY UPDATE 11:  Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr.,
> director, TRICARE Management Activity, made the decision to place
> additional medications on the TRICARE Uniform Formulary and to designate
> others as nonformulary (or third tier) on 26 APR 06. The following is a
> list of these medications, their status as formulary (tier-one generics or
> tier-two brand name) or third tier and (if applicable) the date the
> decision will be implemented.
> Overactive Bladder Agents
> Detrol®  3 July 26, 2006
> Detrol LA®  2
> Ditropan XL®  2
> Enablex®  2
> Oxytrol®  3 July 26, 2006
> Oxybutin generic only  1
> Sanctura®  3 July 26, 2006
> Vesicare®  2
> Miscellaneous Antihypertensive Agents
> Catapres TTS®  2
> Clonidine/chlorthalidone generic only  1
> Clonidine generic only  1
> Guanabenz generic only  1
> Guanadrel generic only  1
> Guanethidine generic only  1
> Guanfacine generic only  1
> Hydralazine generic only  1
> Hydralazine/HCTZ generic only  1
> Inversine®  2
> Lexxel®  3  July 26, 2006
> Lotrel®  2
> Methyldopa generic only  1
> Metyrosine generic only  1
> Minizide®  2
> Minoxidil generic only  1
> Prazosin generic only  1
> Reserpine generic only  1
> Tarka®  3 July 26, 2006
> Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-Analog Agents
> Gabapentin generic only  1
> Gabitril®  2
> Lyrica®  3 June 28, 2006
> Medications on the first tier (formulary generics) are available through
> TRRx for $3 for up to a 30-day supply and through TMOP for $3 for up to a
> 90-day supply. Medications on the second tier (formulary brand name) may
> be purchased for the same number of days for $9. Medications on the third
> tier (nonformulary) require a $22 copayment in both venues. Beneficiary
> copayments are higher at non-network retail pharmacies. Beneficiaries
> currently on third-tier medications may wish to consult their health care
> providers about changing to a first- or second-tier alternative. They may
> also ask their provider if establishing medical necessity for the
> third-tier medication is appropriate for them. If medical necessity for a
> third-tier medication can be established, copayments revert to $9.
> Third-tier medications will not be available at military treatment
> facility (MTF) pharmacies unless medical necessity has been established
> and the prescription is written by an MTF provider. Not all tier-one and
> tier-two drugs are available at MTF pharmacies. For a list of medications,
> their formulary status and where they are available, interested parties
> may go to
> Medical
> necessity forms and criteria are available at
> Additional
> information on both TRRx and TMOP and the location of the nearest TRICARE
> retail pharmacy may be accessed at or by
> calling 866-363-8667 for TMOP or 866-363-8779 for TRRx.  [Source: TMA News
> Release( #6) 26 Apr 06]
> NGB DOD REPRESENTATION:  On 26 APR 06 Rep. Tom Davis (R -VA) introduced
> the National Defense Enhancement and National Guard Empowerment Act of
> 2006 (H.R.5200) to the U. S. House of Representatives This is the House
> version of the original Bill introduced by Senator's Bond and Leahy (S.
> 2658). To help ensure that the National Guard is properly represented at
> the highest levels of the DoD and provided with the appropriate
> representation, manpower, training and equipment for future missions both
> home and abroad, the National H.R.5200 will:
> - Establish the National Guard Bureau (NGB) as a joint activity of the
> DoD.
> - Elevate the Chief of the National Guard Bureau billet from Lieutenant
> General to General (4 Star).
> - Task the Chief of the National Guard Bureau to serve as an advisor to
> the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
> - Provide a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the Chief of the
> National Guard Bureau.
> - Require that the Deputy Commander of NORTHCOM be a National Guard
> officer, and much more.
> On 2 MAY 06 the House Armed Services Committee will conduct a full mark-up
> of the FY07 National Defense Authorization bill (H.R. 5122). During this
> session, HR 5200 will be offered as an amendment to that bill. Both the
> National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) and the Adjutants
> General Association of the United States (AGAUS) support this legislation.
> Pre formatted letters to assist this effort can be found on the NGAUS web
> page Write to Congress feature.  [Source: NGAUS Leg Alert 27
> Apr 06]
> TRDP UPDATE 04:  Some military retirees will see a slight reduction in
> their monthly net pay beginning on1 MAY due to an increase in the Tricare
> Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) premium. The new rates began on 1 APR and
> will remain in effect until 31 MAR 07.  Retirees who have an allotment
> deduction to pay premiums have received, or will receive, a Retiree
> Account Statement (RAS) reflecting the increase in the allotment amount
> both in the "New Pay" line on the front of the form and in the detailed
> information of the Allotments and Bonds section on the reverse side.
> Retirees who are current myPay users are able to view and request this
> RAS.  Premiums for the TRDP were established for each year of the contract
> with the Department of Defense at the time it was awarded in order to
> allow for projected changes in the cost of dental care. The first annual
> premium rate change took effect on 1 MAY 04 for the contract year ` MAY 04
> through 30 APR 05. The next change was effective 1 MAY 05 through 30 APR
> 06, the end of the current contract year. The premium rates for TRDP are
> based on each retiree's ZIP code and type of coverage. Premiums may also
> increase or decrease if TRDP enrollees move or change their enrollment
> options. More information is available for TRDP enrollees by calling toll
> free at 1(888) 838-8737 or via the TRDP Web site at  The
> new rates, by region, can be found on the web site by entering your zip
> code.  [Source: Air Force Retiree News 26 Apr 06 ++]
> TRICARE COMPUTERS HACKED: Pentagon officials on 28 APR said Computer
> hackers obtained Social Security numbers, credit card information and
> other personal data for thousands of active and retired service members
> after hacking into the Defense Department's Tricare Management Activity
> system in early April. The personal information of more than 14,000 active
> and retired service members and dependents has fallen into the wrong
> hands. Along with Social Security numbers, hackers tapped into records
> that included names, partial credit card numbers and some private employer
> information and personal health information, said Air Force Maj. Michael
> Shavers, a Pentagon spokesman. Routine monitoring of the Tricare
> Management Activity's public servers on April 5 resulted in the discovery
> of an intrusion and that the personal records had been compromised,
> leaving open the possibility of identity theft among the members affected.
> The information contained in the files varied and investigators do not
> know what, if any, criminal intent the perpetrators had, or if the
> information would be misused. Defense Criminal Investigative Service has
> begun an investigation.  In the interim enhanced security controls
> throughout the network have been implemented and additional monitoring
> tools installed to improve security of existing networks and data files.
> TMA sent letters to the affected individuals earlier this month telling
> them what happened in April and information to assist them in
> understanding the potential risks and precautions they can take to protect
> their identities. [Source:  NavyTimes Gordon Lubold article 28 Apr 06]
> COLD WAR MEDAL:   Congress approved a Cold War Medal in its 2002 National
> Defense Authorization Bill (NDAA) but left final authorization up to
> Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. DoD said in late January 2002 that
> the medal would not be authorized. The House version of last year's fiscal
> 2006 NDAA contained provisions for a Cold War medal, but a joint
> conference committee struck it out. This year the idea has resurfaced.
> Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) have introduced
> S.1361 and H.R.2568 respectively that would direct the Defense Department
> to issue such a medal. Service members and DoD civilians who served
> honorably at any time between Sept. 2, 1945, through Dec. 26, 1991 would
> be eligible. The chairman of the Cold War Veterans Association estimated
> that 20 million Americans served during the Cold War.  According to the
> association, 357 U.S. soldiers lost their lives in action during the Cold
> War. Others were injured, or kept as prisoners of war. The numbers may
> pale in comparison to other wars, yet this was a time of highly tense and
> very secretive missions, when soldiers were told to hold their fire, but
> be ready to return fire if ordered.  The proposed legislation would face
> stiff opposition from DoD because of funding concerns and because a Cold
> War medal could reduce the prestige accorded other medals awarded during
> the same era. As a substitute, Public Law 105-85 authorized a Cold War
> Recognition Certificate for Cold War participants.  [Source: Armed Forces
> News 28 Apr 06 ++]
> AAAFES GAS PRICING POLICY:  In the continental United States, officials of
> Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAAFES) gas stations conduct surveys of
> five or more local locations selling motor fuel, excluding members only
> clubs, at least once a week. This process allows AAFES to establish a fair
> and competitive price equal to the lowest price surveyed for each grade of
> fuel sold. The gas is not tax free because the Hayden Cartwright Act
> requires AAFES to pay all applicable taxes on gasoline. Gas pricing can
> also rapidly change with oil supply and disruptions stemming from world
> events or domestic problems such as refinery or pipeline outages, world
> markets speculation, and political/economic factors.  [Source: Armed
> Forces News 28 Apr 06]
> VA ALERT ON VAS:  the Veterans Administration has put out a warning
> regarding involvement with an organization calling itself Veterans Affairs
> Services (VSA). This organization is gathering personal information on
> veterans under a VA services look alike website  This
> organization is not affiliated with the VA in any way and in reality is a
> private company based in California.  It describes itself as a nonprofit
> veteran's service organization but they are actually affiliated with the
> Military Financial Planning association.  They may be gaining access to
> military personnel through their close resemblance to the VA name and
> seal.  VA's legal counsel has requested installations be informed of this
> organization's activities and their lack of affiliation or endorsement by
> VA to provide any services.  In addition, anyone having examples of VAS
> acts such as VAS employees assisting veterans in the preparation and
> presentation of claims for benefits, is requested to pass these on to
>, (202) 273-8636.  Mr. Daugherty is a Staff
> Attorney with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington D.C.  I am
> attaching an info paper describing the company and their websites.
> [Source: USDR msg 24 Apr 06]
> CONSUMER HEALTH DIGEST: Consumer health encompasses all aspects of the
> marketplace related to the purchase of health products and services.
> Positively, it involves the facts and understanding that enable people to
> make wise choices. Negatively, it means avoiding unwise decisions based on
> deception, misinformation, or other factors. The following is a list of
> websites that can assist in making your health care decisions:
> (Health fraud and quackery)
> (Acupuncture)
> (Guide to autism)
> (Cancer)
> (Legal archive)
> (Chelation therapy)
> (Guide to chiropractic)
> (Credentials)
> (uide to dental care)
> (Questionable medical devices)
> (Weight-control schemes and ripoffs)
> (Guide to homeopathy)
> (Guide to reliable information))
> (Guide to infomercials)
> (Dubious theories and methods)
> (Multi-level marketing)
> (Naturopathy)
> (Alternative medicine)
> (Nutrition facts and fallacies)
> (Drug marketplace and lower prices)
> (National Council Against Health Fraud)
> (Consumer health sourcebook)
> (Consumer Health
> Digest)
> [Source: Consumer Health Digest 25 Apr 06]
> COLA 2007 UPDATE 01:. In mid-April, the Bureau of Labor Statistics
> announced the MAR 06 monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is used to
> calculate the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for military retired
> pay, VA disability compensation, survivor annuities, and Social Security.
> The CPI continued its upward trend and rose 0.6% from February for a total
> of 1.3% growth so far this fiscal year. The bulk of the latest change is
> due to energy price increases. The 1.3% figure for March is about
> one-third slower than last year's pace of inflation. At this point last
> year (when we ended up with a 4.1% COLA), the CPI had risen 1.9%.
> [Source: MOAA Leg Up21 Apr 06]
> SSMAC LODGING NEW YORK:  If visiting New York City check out the
> Soldiers', Sailors', Marines & Airmens' Club at 283 Lexington Ave. & 37th
> St.  This mid-town Manhattan facility is close to the theater district,
> Empire State Bldg., United Nations, and Fifth Ave. The Club provides
> convenient, affordable accommodations to Active Duty, Retired,
> Reserve/National Guard and honorably discharged veterans of the U.S. Armed
> Forces and its Allies. Also welcome are Service Academy & ROTC
> Cadets/Midshipmen, Merchant Seamen, Widows & Widowers, Dependants and
> Sponsored Guests of eligible individuals.  The historic facility which is
> close to the Theater District, the Empire State Building, Radio City Music
> Hall and affordable restaurants.  Rates are E1-E4 $25, E5 & above $37,
> WO/O1-O3/Retirees $47, O-4 and above $52, and children 3-14 $10 a night
> per person.
>     The SSMAC rents beds, not rooms. There are 21rooms with 2 Beds to
> accommodate couples or guests booking as a party of two; 6 rooms with 3
> beds each; 1 room with 4 beds and 1 room with 6 beds to accommodate
> families or groups. Cribs and additional beds are not available for use in
> rooms. Guests checking in alone may have to be booked into rooms with
> other guests of the same gender. There are separate communal bathrooms and
> showers for men and women.  The Club consists of five floors without
> elevator, as it was originally a private brownstone.  No meals are served
> and there is no room, bell or personal laundry service. Nearby restaurants
> provide quick delivery of take-out orders. Self-service laundries are
> nearby. Rooms do not have TV's or telephones, but there is a pay phone in
> the building, a library with two Internet stations, several large event
> rooms, a television room and a dining room with a microwave oven and
> toaster grill. Children age 3 and under stay free when occupying a bed
> with a parent.
>     Originally dubbed the Servicemen's Club, it was founded in 1919 to
> accommodate servicemen returning from overseas duty in World War I.  This
> nonprofit organization receives no financial support from federal, state
> or local government. Due to the club's commitment to keep costs low for
> its patrons while bearing the burden of ever-increasing operating costs
> amounting to an annual deficit of nearly $250,000.  This is met by
> donations from people and organizations who willing to support their
> operations. Tax-deductible donations can be sent to Executive Director,
> Soldiers', Sailors', Marines' and Airmen's Club or SSMAC, 283 Lexington
> Avenue, New York, NY 10016-3540. To date the club has hosted more than 2.5
> million guests.  Additional information on the club is available at
> or  Reservations can be made
> at 1(800) 678-8443. Reservations for weekends should be made at least a
> month in advance.
>     The USO of Metropolitan New York's General Douglas MacArthur Memorial
> Center is a 10 minute walk from the club. They are located in The Port
> Authority Bus Terminal, 625 Eighth Avenue, North Wing, Second Level
> (Between 41st and 42nd Streets), New York, NY 10018  Tel: (212) 695-6160.
> Here you can obtain maps, brochures and information on attractions, places
> of interest and local color in the Greater New York City area. They can
> also offer you discounts on Broadway Tickets, Off-Broadway Theaters, Hotel
> Reservations, Sightseeing Bus Tours, Sightseeing Boat Tours, and Club
> Admissions. Show tickets are distributed at 5:30 PM on the day of
> performance. Tickets for professional and collegiate athletic and sporting
> events are frequently available on the day of the event. Uniform
> requirements and guest privileges are subject to individual management
> policies. Movie Theater Discounts are available for Loews Cineplex. Many
> hotels in the New York City area offer a special USO discount rate for
> military personnel and their families. Service personnel can make their
> hotel reservations in person, by phone, fax or through the mail. Ask about
> special rates for children.  Additional information is available at
> or  [Source: Air Force
> Retiree News Service 10 Apr 06 ++]
> TRICARE OBESITY TREATMENT:  Tricare Standard coverage is limited to three
> types of surgical treatment for obesity.  These are gastric bypass,
> gastric stapling, and gastroplasty, including vertical banding
> gastroplasty, when one of the following conditions are met:
> 1. A patient is 100 pounds or more over the ideal weight for height and
> boy structure, and has one of the  associated medical condition of
> diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cholecystitis, narcolepsy, Pickwickian
> syndrome (and other sever respiratory diseases), hypothalamin disorders,
> and severe arthritis of the weight bearing joints.
> 2. A patient is 200 pounds or more of the ideal weight for height and body
> structure.  Am associated medical condition is not required for this
> category.
> 3. A patient has complications from a non-covered surgical treatment for
> obesity, such as intestinal bypass, and needs one of the three surgical
> procedures that are covered.
> Tricare Standard does not cover any other services, medications, or
> supplies related to obesity or weight reduction.  Non-surgical treatment
> of morbid obesity, such as wiring the jaws, camps for obesity treatment,
> or special diets are not covered. [Source: Tricare Handbook Apr 06]
> VIRGINIA TUITION UPDATE 01:  Starting 1 JUL 06 all dependents of military
> service members stationed in Virginia are eligible for in-state college
> tuition rates, a move that should save military families thousands of
> dollars in higher education costs. According to the text of the bill
> signed 6 APR by Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, dependents of military members
> permanently stationed at any of the number of military bases in the state
> will be considered residents of Virginia for the purpose of eligibility
> for in-state tuition rates. Previously, a military member had to establish
> official residency at least a year prior to enrollment for a family member
> to be eligible for in-state tuition at a state-supported university in
> Virginia. No member or dependent will be required to change their official
> residency to Virginia from another state to receive in-state tuition
> rates, as long as the student remains enrolled in school. The in-state
> tuition rates remain even if a student transfers between two Virginia
> schools.   Active-duty members will continue to be eligible for in-state
> tuition rates in Virginia by using the Tuition Assistance education
> benefit. The difference between in-state tuition rates and out-of-state is
> substantial in Virginia. According to figures from the State Council of
> Higher Education for Virginia, out-of-state tuition rates for state-funded
> universities can be nearly three times as much as in-state rates.
>     The bill (as previously reported) also will provide undergraduate or
> other postsecondary education to qualified survivors and dependents of
> active duty servicemembers, POWs, or veterans with honorable discharges
> rated at or above 90% disability by the VA.  Servicemember must have died
> as a result of military operations against terrorism, on a peace-keeping
> mission, as a result of a terrorist act, or in any armed conflict
> subsequent to December 6, 1941.  Survivor is defined as spouse or children
> age 16 to 29.  Education benefit can be obtained at any Virginia public
> institution of higher education or other public accredited postsecondary
> institution granting a degree, diploma, or certificate.  Those eligible
> for this benefit will be free of tuition and all required fees,
> institutional charges; general or college fees, any charges by whatever
> term referred to as general/college fees, board and room rent, and
> books/supplies. Application can be obtained from Deputy Commissioners
> Office, Virginia Department of Veterans Service, Poff Federal Building,
> 270 Franklin RD, SW, Roanoke VA 24011-2215 Tel: 540-857-7101/7573 Fax or
> downloaded at [Source: Navy Newsstand 13 Apr 06]
> TMOP UPDATE 04:  Prescription delivery under the Tricare Mail Order
> Program is now easier using the Internet where Tricare beneficiaries can
> enroll online for home delivery of their prescription medications. The
> mail-order service is recommended for medications that beneficiaries use
> for long periods of time. Once enrolled, patients can send their
> prescriptions to the Tricare mail order pharmacy where pharmacists will
> check the order against the patient's medication profile in the Defense
> Department's pharmacy database. Medications complete with a reorder date
> are usually delivered to the beneficiary's home within 14 days after the
> contractor receives the prescription. With each request, the prescription
> is reviewed against the beneficiary's complete medication history before
> it is dispensed - reducing the likelihood of adverse interactions and
> duplicate treatments. Pharmacists are available 24 hours a day, seven days
> a week via a toll free number to answer questions.  Cost for each 90 day
> supply of medicine is $3 (Generic), $9 (Name Brand), and $22 for Tier 3
> medicines.
>     Initial registration can be accomplished at
> where you can activate an account to use the online features of the
> prescription plan.  Here you will assign an account name and pin number to
> be used for your future access.   You can also register a credit card to
> be used for automatic payment of future prescription orders.  To place
> prescription orders follow the following procedures:
> 1. First time users are required to submit a "New Patient Mail Order Form"
> which can be downloaded at or requested at 1(866)
> 363-8667. This form is used to identity your personal information,
> attending physicians name, and payment method.   Ask the doctor to write a
> new prescription for up to a 90-day supply (with up to three refills) of
> the medication.  Attach the written prescription(s) to the form and mail
> to Express Scripts Inc. PO Box 52150, Phoenix AZ 85072-9954.
> 2. For subsequent new prescriptions a separate form is used for mailing or
> faxing the order. Log onto and follow the prompts
> to print a prescription order form. Ask the doctor to write the new
> prescription.  Then the doctor can fax the form with the prescription(s)
> to Express Scripts, Inc 1(877) 895-1900 or you can mail the form with
> prescription(s) to Express Scripts Inc. PO Box 52150, Phoenix AZ 85072.
> (Note: Faxing is only allowed from your physician's office).  If payment
> has not been set up by credit card with your initial registration include
> the payment with a mailed request.
> 3. For prescription refills access and click
> "Order Refills".
> 4. To find out the status of an order access and
> click "Track Your Order".
> For more information, call Express Scripts at 1-866-363-8667 if you are
> within the 50 United States and its territories. Call 1-866-275-4732 and
> select option 1 if you are outside U.S. territory.  [Source: NGAUS NOTES 7
> Apr 06 ++]
> JOBS W/O COLLEGE DEGREE RQMT:  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor
> Statistics, eight of the top 10 fastest-growing occupations through 2014
> do not require a bachelor's degree. Based on data from the U.S. Department
> of Labor and the Census Bureau, career planning expert Michael Farr and
> statistician Laurence Shatkin recently published the second edition of
> their book "The 300 Best Jobs That Don't Require a Four-Year Degree". Here
> are 20 of the top-paying jobs that don't require a degree according to
> Shatkin's book:
> -  Air traffic controller: $102,030
> -  Storage and distribution manager: $66,600
> -  Transportation manager: $66,600
> -  Police and detectives supervisor: $64,430
> -  Non-retail sales manager: $59,300
> -  Forest fire fighting and prevention supervisor: $58,920
> -  Municipal fire fighting and prevention supervisor: $58,902
> -  Real estate broker: $58,720
> -  Elevator installers and repairer: $58,710
> -  Sales representative: $58,580
> -  Dental hygienist: $58,350
> -  Radiation therapist: $57,700
> -  Nuclear medicine technologist: $56,450
> -  Child support, missing persons and unemployment insurance fraud
> investigator: $53,900
> -  Criminal investigators and special agent: $53,990
> -  Immigration and Customs inspector: $53,990
> -  Police detective: $53,990
> -  Police identification and records officer: $53,990
> -  Commercial pilot: $53,870
> -  Talent director: $52,840
> Note: Though a college degree is not a requirement for these positions,
> all require moderate to extensive on-the-job training or apprenticeship.
> In addition, dental hygienists, radiation therapists, nuclear medicine
> technologists and commercial pilots require an associate degree at a
> vocational or technical school. [Source: VetJobs Veteran Eagle Newsletter
> 1 Apr 06]
> ENLISTMENT TO AVOID PROSECUTION: Enlistment to avoid prosecution is no
> longer allowed regardless of any deal made with a judge or prosecutor.
> Judges or prosecutor can do whatever they please (within the limits of the
> law for their jurisdiction), but that doesn't mean the military branches
> are required to accept such people and they don't.  Each service branch
> has regulations that prohibit accepting such applicants as follows:
> 1) Army: Recruiting Regulation 601-210, paragraph 4-8b states: "Applicant
> who, as a condition for any civil conviction or adverse disposition or any
> other reason through a civil or criminal court, is ordered or subjected to
> a sentence that implies or imposes enlistment into the Armed Forces of the
> United States is not eligible for enlistment.."
> 2) USAF: Recruiting Regulation, AETCI 36-2002, table 1-1, lines 7 and 8,
> makes an applicant ineligible for enlistment if they are "released from
> restraint, or civil suit, or charges on the condition of entering military
> service, if the restraint, civil suit, or criminal charges would be
> reinstated if the applicant does not enter military service."
> 3) USMC: Recruiting Regulation, MCO P1100.72B, Chapter 3, Section 2, Part
> H, Paragraph 12 states: "Applicants may not enlist as an alternative to
> criminal prosecution, indictment, incarceration, parole, probation, or
> other punitive sentence. They are ineligible for enlistment until the
> original assigned sentence would have been completed."
> 4) USCG:  Enlistment prohibition is contained in the Coast Guard
> Recruiting Manual, M1100.2D, Table 2-A.
> 5) USN:  Interestingly, the Navy Recruiting Manual, COMNAVCRUITCOMINST
> 1130.8F, does not appear to contain any provisions which would make such
> applicants ineligible for enlistment. However, several Navy recruiters
> when Asked if the Navy will accept applicants for service, as an
> alternative to criminal prosecution or other punitive sentence have said
> they would not.
> All of the branch's recruiting regulations prohibit military recruiters
> from becoming involved in criminal proceedings for any military applicant.
> Under no circumstances may recruiting personnel intervene or appear on
> behalf of prospective applicants pending civil action with court
> authorities. Civil action is defined as awaiting trial, awaiting sentence,
> or on supervised conditional probation/parole. Waiver of this restriction
> is not authorized. Also, recruiting personnel may not appear in court or
> before probation or parole authorities under any circumstances on behalf
> of any applicant and informal conversations with defense attorneys or
> probation or parole officers must be limited to explaining the military's
> recruitment policies. Recruiting personnel may give no opinions or
> suggestions to enable an unqualified applicant to enlist. They must allow
> the normal course of civil action to occur without assistance or
> intervention. [Source:
> Apr 06]
> DOD SMART SCHOLARSHIP:  Students can be offered full scholarships to
> participate DoD's Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation
> (SMART) scholarship program, which was established under the National
> Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2006. SMART scholarships and
> fellowships are awarded to applicants who are pursuing a degree in
> subjects like aeronautical and astronautical engineering, aerospace
> engineering, biosciences, physiology, chemical engineering, civil
> engineering, computer and computational sciences, electrical engineering,
> naval architecture and ocean engineering, and a host of other subjects.
> DoD is also interested in supporting the education of future scientists
> and engineers in a number of interdisciplinary, military technology areas
> of overlapping disciplines. During summer sessions, students will receive
> assignments as interns at DoD labs and agencies, or other assignments that
> will further their education and training goals.
>      The SMART program is aimed at providing the nation with talented,
> trained American men and women who will lead state-of-the-art research
> projects in disciplines having the greatest payoff to national defense
> requirements. The scholarship program allows individuals to acquire an
> education in exchange for a period of employment with the Defense
> Department in the specified areas. The Program is open only to citizens of
> the United States. Persons who hold permanent resident status are not
> eligible. Proof of citizenship will be required. Students must be at least
> 18 years of age and, if seeking undergraduate support, be enrolled as a
> student in a regionally accredited university or college to be eligible.
> If family members are not U.S. citizens, some agencies may be unable to
> process the student to the security clearance level required. In that
> event every effort will be made to assign an eligible student to an agency
> without such restrictions. Failure to obtain and maintain a security
> clearance is grounds for dismissal from the SMART Program. Refer to
> to determine
> eligibility for a security clearance. More detailed information can be
> obtained at or by
> contacting: SMART Defense Scholarship Program, American Society for
> Engineering Education, 1818 N Street N.W., Suite 600, Washington, DC
> 20036. Program officials can be reached by phone at (202) 331-3516.
> [Source:  Kansas City InfoZine article by Rudi Williams 26 Mar 06 ++]
> VA CEMETERIES UPDATE 01: Eligibility for burial in a VA cemetery (space
> permitting) extends to the following.  To confirm your eligibility for
> burial benefits, call a Veteran's Benefits Counselor at 1(800) 827-1000 :
> (1) Any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who dies on active
> duty.
> (2) Any veteran who was discharged under conditions other than
> dishonorable. With certain exceptions, service beginning after 7 SEP 80,
> as an enlisted person, and service after 16 OCT 81, as an officer, must be
> for a minimum of 24 continuous months or the full period for which the
> person was called to active duty as in the case of a Reservist called to
> active duty for a limited duration. Undesirable, bad conduct, and any
> other type of discharge other than honorable may or may not qualify the
> individual for veterans benefits, depending upon a determination made by a
> VA Regional Office. Cases presenting multiple discharges of varying
> character are also referred for adjudication to a VA Regional Office.
> (3) Any citizen of the United States who, during any war in which the
> United States has or may be engaged, served in the Armed Forces of any
> Government allied with the United States during that war, whose last
> active service was terminated honorably by death or otherwise, and who was
> a citizen of the United States at the time of entry into such service and
> at the time of death.
> (4) Reservists and National Guard members who, at time of death, were
> entitled to retired pay under Chapter 1223, title 10, United States Code,
> or would have been entitled, but for being under the age of 60. Specific
> categories of individuals eligible for retired pay are delineated in
> section 12731 of Chapter 1223, title 10, United States Code.
> (5) Members of reserve components, and members of the Army National Guard
> or the Air National Guard, who die while hospitalized or undergoing
> treatment at the expense of the United States for injury or disease
> contracted or incurred under honorable conditions while performing active
> duty for training or inactive duty training, or undergoing such
> hospitalization or treatment.
> (6) Members of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps of the Army, Navy, or
> Air Force who die under honorable conditions while attending an authorized
> training camp or on an authorized cruise, while performing authorized
> travel to or from that camp or cruise, or while hospitalized or undergoing
> treatment at the expense of the United States for injury or disease
> contracted or incurred under honorable conditions while engaged in one of
> those activities.
> (7) Members of reserve components who, during a period of active duty for
> training, were disabled or died from a disease or injury incurred or
> aggravated in line of duty or, during a period of inactive duty training,
> were disabled or died from an injury or certain cardiovascular disorders
> incurred or aggravated in line of duty.
> (8) A Commissioned Officer of the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric
> Administration formerly titled the Coast and Geodetic Survey and the
> Environmental Science Services Administration) with full-time duty on or
> after 29 JUL 45.
> (9) A NOAA Commissioned Officer who served before 29 JUL 45 and was
> assigned to an area of immediate military hazard as determined by the
> Secretary of Defense while in time of war, or in a Presidentially declared
> national emergency; or served in the Philippine Islands on 7 DEC 41 and
> continuously in such islands thereafter.
> (10) A Commissioned Officer of the Regular or Reserve Corps of the Public
> Health Service (PHS) who served on full-time duty on or after 29 UL 45. If
> the service of the particular PHS Officer falls within the meaning of
> active duty for training, as defined in section 101(22), title 38, United
> States Code, he or she must have been disabled or died from a disease or
> injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.
> (11) A Commissioned Officer of the Regular or Reserve Corps of the PHS who
> performed full-time duty prior to 20 JUL 45 in time of war; on detail for
> duty with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard; or,
> while the Service was part of the military forces of the United States
> pursuant to Executive Order of the President.
> (12) A Commissioned Officer of the PHS serving on inactive duty training
> as defined in section 101(23), title 38, U.S Code, whose death resulted
> from an injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.
> (13) U.S. Merchant Mariners with oceangoing service during the period of
> armed conflict, 7 DEC 41 to 13 DEC 46. A DD-214 documenting this service
> may be obtained by submitting an application to Commandant (G-MVP-6),
> USCG, 2100 2nd Street, SW, Washington, DC 20593.
> (14) U.S. Merchant Mariners who served on blockships in support of
> Operation Mulberry during WW II.
> (15) Any Philippine veteran who was a citizen of the U.S. or an alien
> lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the U.S. at the time of their
> death; and resided in the U.S. at the time of their death; and,
> - Was a person who served before 1 JUL 46, in the organized military
> forces of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, while
> such forces were in the service of the Armed Forces of the United States
> pursuant to the military order of the President dated 26 JUL 41, including
> organized guerilla forces under commanders appointed, designated, or
> subsequently recognized by the Commander in Chief, Southwest Pacific Area,
> or other competent authority in the Army of the United States, and who
> died on or after 1 NOV 00; or,
> - Was a person who enlisted between 6 OCT 45, and 30JUN 47, with the Armed
> Forces of the United States with the consent of the Philippine government,
> pursuant to section 14 of the Armed Forces Voluntary Recruitment Act of
> 1945, and who died on or after 16 DEC 03.
> (16) The spouse or surviving spouse of an eligible veteran is eligible for
> interment in a national cemetery even if that veteran is not buried or
> memorialized in a national cemetery. In addition, the spouse or surviving
> spouse of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States whose remains
> are unavailable for burial is also eligible for burial.
> (17) The surviving spouse of an eligible veteran who had a subsequent
> remarriage to a non-veteran and whose death occurred on or after 1 JAN 00,
> is eligible for burial in a national cemetery, based on his or her
> marriage to the eligible veteran.
> (18) The minor children of an eligible veteran. For purpose of burial in a
> national cemetery, a minor child is a child who is unmarried and is under
> 21 years of age; or, is under 23 years of age and pursuing a full-time
> course of instruction at an approved educational institution.
> (19) The unmarried adult child of an eligible veteran. For purpose of
> burial in a national cemetery, an unmarried adult child is of any age but
> became permanently physically or mentally disabled and incapable of
> self-support before reaching 21 years of age, or before reaching 23 years
> of age if pursuing a full-time course of instruction at an approved
> educational institution. Proper supporting documentation must be provided.
> (20)  Such other persons or classes of persons as designated by the
> Secretary of Veterans Affairs (38 U.S.C. § 2402(6)) or the Secretary of
> Defense (Public Law 95-202, § 401, and 38 CFR § 3.7(x)).
> [Source: Mar 06]
> MILITARY LEGISLATION STATUS UPDATE:  Following is current status on some
> Congressional bills of interest to the military community.  Support of
> these bills through cosponsorship by other legislators is critical if ther
> are ever going to move through the legislative process for a floor vote.
> The key to obtaining cosponsorship is letting your representative know of
> your feelings on these issues.  Following each bill is a web link that can
> be used to do that:
> H.R.303:  To amend title 10, United States Code, to permit certain
> additional retired members of the Armed Forces who have a
> service-connected disability to receive both disability compensation from
> the Department of Veterans Affairs for their disability and either retired
> pay by reason of their years of military service or Combat-Related Special
> Compensation and to eliminate the phase-in period under current law with
> respect to such concurrent receipt.  The following sponsor was added to
> this bill giving it a total of 225 cosponosors: Rep. Solomon Ortiz
> (D-TX-27). Send a message to your Representative
> at --
> H.R.808: To amend title 10, United States Code, to repeal the offset from
> surviving spouse annuities under the military Survivor Benefit Plan for
> amounts paid by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs as dependency and
> indemnity compensation.  The following sponsor was added to this bill
> giving it a total of 199 cosponsors:
> Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM-1). Contact your Representative -- 
> H.R.968: To amend title 10, United States Code, to change the effective
> date for paid-up coverage under the military Survivor Benefit Plan from
> October 1, 2008, to October 1, 2005. The following sponsors were added to
> this bill giving it a total of 139 cosponsors: Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL-7) &
> Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA-5). Send a message to your Representative at -- 
> H.R.994: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow Federal
> civilian and military retirees to pay health insurance premiums on a
> pretax basis and to allow a deduction for TRICARE supplemental premiums.
> The following sponsors were added to this bill giving it a total of 325
> cosponsors: Rep. Gil Gutknecht (R-MN-1); Rep. Roger Wicker (R-MS-1); Rep.
> Steven LaTourette (R-OH-14); Rep. Ernest Istook (R-OK-5); Rep. Gwen Moore
> (D-WI-4); Rep. Tom Osborne (R-NE-3); Rep. John Salazar (D-CO-3).
> Send a message to your Representative
> at --
> H.R.2076:  To amend title 10, United States Code, to permit certain
> retired members of the uniformed services who have a service-connected
> disability to receive both disability compensation from the Department of
> Veterans Affairs for their disability and either retired pay by reason of
> their years of military service or Combat-Related Special Compensation.
> The following sponsor was added to this bill giving it a total of 25
> cosponosors: Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR-4) Send a message to your Representative
> at --
> H.R.2962: To amend title 38, United States Code, to revise the eligibility
> criteria for presumption of service-connection of certain diseases and
> disabilities for veterans exposed to ionizing radiation during military
> service, and for other purposes.  The following sponsor was added to this
> bill giving it a total of 47 cosponosors: Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA-19). Send
> a message to your Representative at --
> H.R.4949: To amend title 10, United States Code, to prohibit increases in
> fees for military health care. The following sponsors were added to this
> bill giving it a total of 148 cosponosors: Rep. Ray LaHood (R-IL-18)
> Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA-5); Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA-12); Rep. Zoe Lofgren
> (D-CA-16); Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX-14); Rep. James Moran (D-VA-8); Rep. Brad
> Sherman (D-CA-27); Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA-29); Rep. Michael Burgess
> (R-TX-26); Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA-7).  Send a message to your
> Representative at --
> H.R.4992: To provide for Medicare reimbursement for health care services
> provided to Medicare-eligible veterans in facilities of the Department of
> Veterans Affairs.  The following sponsors were added to this bill giving
> it a total of 6 cosponsors: Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV-3) & Rep. Bob Filner
> (D-CA-51). Send a message to your Representative at -- 
> S.484: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow Federal
> civilian and military retirees to pay health insurance premiums on a
> pretax basis and to allow a deduction for TRICARE supplemental premiums.
> The following sponsor was added to this bill giving it a total of 8
> cosponsors:: Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS). Send a message to your Senator at -- 
> S.2617: A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to limit increases
> in the costs to retired members of the Armed Forces of health care
> services under the TRICARE program, and for other purposes.  The following
> sponsors were added to this bill giving it a total of 8 cosponsors: Sen.
> Byron Dorgan (D-ND); Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA); Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM).
> Send a message to your Senator at -- 
> [Source: USDR Action Alerts 26/27 Apr 06]
> Lt. James "EMO" Tichacek, USN (Ret)
> Director, Retiree Assistance Office, U.S. Embassy Warden & VITA Baguio
> City RP
> PSC 517 Box RCB, FPO AP 96517
> Tel: (760) 839-9003 or FAX 1(801) 760-2430; When in RP: (74) 442-7135 or
> FAX 1(801) 760-2430
> Email:  When in Philippines
> Web:

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