Author Archives: Paul

RAO Bulletin 1 January 2015

THIS BULLETIN CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES

Pg             Article                                                          Subject

                                                        * DOD *                                                         .

04 == MCRMC [05] ———- (Compensation Commission Readies Report)

05 == ID Card Obtainment in Philippines —————— (Request by Mail)

07 == War Costs since 911 ——————————— (Dollar and Human)

08 == Commissary User Savings [03] —————— (Orange Value Signs)

09 == Budget Deficit Reduction [01] – (Brainstorming Health Care Budget)

10 == DoD Mobilized Reserve 16 DEC 2014 ————- (Decrease of 1053)

11 == Other than Honorable Discharge [02] ——- (DoD to Investigate Use)

11 == PTSD Punitive Discharges ————— (Upgrade Website Launched)

12 == DoD Humvee Auction —————- (Selling For Off-Road Use Only)

14 == DoD Fraud, Waste, & Abuse ——— (Reported 16 thru 31 Dec 2014)

16 == POW/MIA [44] ————– (2nd Lawsuit Questions JPAC Accuracy)

17 == POW/MIA [46] ——————— (Reform Cuts key JPAC Personnel)

18 == POW/MIA Recoveries —————– (Reported 141216 thru 141231)

                                                         * VA *                                                           .

22 == VA Disability Compensation [11] ———————– (Rates for 2015)

23 == VA Women Vet Programs [24] ——————- (CWV/ CAWP MOU)

24 == VA Health Care Stories [05] ————- (Denied Colonoscopy Claims)

24 == VA Clinical Reasoning Service ——- (Implementation & Assessment)

24 == Homeless Vets [62] ————- (IG Report on VA’s Homeless Hotline)

26 == VA Whistleblowers [16] —————————- (Sham Peer Reviews)

28 == PTSD [182] —————– (Colorado Funds Medical Marijuana Study)

29 == VAMC Fayetteville [02] ————– ($40M Wrongful Death Lawsuit)

30 == VAMC Aurora CO [02] ————- (New Hospital Interim Agreement)

                                                       * VETS *                                                         .

33 == Team AMVETS ——————————- (Welcome Home Program)

34 == Vet Toxic Exposure~Lejeune [52] ——— (Exposure Dates Expanded)

34 == Connecticut Veteran’ Home [02] —— (Major Changes Recommended)

35 == Navy Retired Activities Website ——- (Quick Retiree Reference Info)

35 == Hospital Corpsman Combat Memorial ——- (New Version Dedicated)

36 == Vet Insurance ~ Life [13] ——– (40M Prudential Lawsuit Settlement)

37 == MOH Awards [02] ————— (NDAA’s William Shemin Provision)

39 == Army Combat Action Badge [03] —— (Extend Retroactive Eligibility)

40 == Vet Suicide [05] —– (H.R.5059 Passage Halted by Sen. Tom Coburn)

41 == OBIT | Thomas Richards [01] ——————————– (18 Jun 2014)

42 == Vet Jobs [166] —————— (Home Base Iowa Seeks to Attract Vets)

43 == Retiree Appreciation Days —————————- (As of 26 Dec 2014)

43 == Vet Hiring Fairs —————————————– (1 thru 31 Jan 2014)

44 == WWII Vets 77 ——————————————– (DeLucia~Tommy)

45 == America’s Most Beloved Vets —————————– (Korean War (1)

46 == Veteran State Benefits & Discounts ————————— (Iowa 2014)

46 == State Veteran’s Benefits & Discounts ————- (New York Update 01)

                                            * VET LEGISLATION *                                        .

48 == Vet Legislative Wins 2014 ————————- (Few But 2 Big Ones)

49 == VA Construction Management Authority ——– (Bill Would Remove)

49 == GOP Agenda ———————————————— (2015 Wish List)

51 == Vet Bills Submitted to 113th Congress ————- (As of 28 Dec 2014)

                                                    * MILITARY *                                                .

52 == Operation Enduring Freedom [01] -– (Officially Ended Dec. 28, 2015)

53 == MAVNI Program ——– (Special Foreign-born Recruiting to Resume)

54 == POW/MIA [45] ——————- (How to Handle Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl)

55 == Military Child Custody Protection ——————- (Deployment Issue)

56 == Navy Rights Wrong after 72 Years ———– (German U-Boat sinking)

57 == Military Mortgage Foreclosure Relief —- (Up to 1-yr after Separation)

58 == GhostSwimmer ————————— (Navy Tests Tuna-Sized UUV)

58 == Broadsword Suit ——————— (New Wearable Charging System)

59 == Medal of Honor Citations ———————– (Vance~Leon R. WWII)

                                             * MILITARY HISTORY *                                    .

62 == Aviation Art —————————————– (Enemy Coast Ahead)

63 == Military History ————————————— (Angeles of Bataan)

66 == D-Day —————————— (LCT Loading for Channel Crossing)

67 == WWII Prewar Events ——– (Nanking Japanese Occupation Atrocity)

67 == WWII Postwar Events ———— (Tokyo Housing Shortage Oct 1946)

68 == Spanish American War Image 54 – (Naval battle of Santiago de Cuba)

69 == Military History Anniversaries —————————- (1 thru 31 Jan)

69 == WWI in Photos 119 — (Clearing Turkish Dardanelles Defenses 1915)

69 == Faces of WAR (WWII) ———————— (William F. Halsey 1945)

                                               * HEALTH CARE *                                             .

70 == Organ Transplant ——————– (Walter Reed Transplant Program)

70 == Sexual Function —————————- (Restoral for Injured Troops)

72 == Medical Talk Shows ——————– (Recommendations Reliability)

73 == TRICARE/Medicare Combined Benefit [01] ————– (Fact Sheet)

74 == TRICARE Dental Program [08] ————————— (Flossing Tip)

75 == TRICARE Operation Live Well! ————– (Healthy Base Initiative)

75 == Hand Washing —————– (When, How & Why | Happy Birthday)

77 == TRICARE Advise Line [01] —– (Need Urgent Care? Call NAL First)

77 == Tricare Webinar ——————————— (Live Stress free in 2015)

78 == Tricare Webinar ————– (TOP Prime Remote Briefing for TLAC)

79 == Hospital Observation Care — (Medicare Considers Outpatient Service)

                                                  * FINANCES *                                                   .

80 == DFAS 1099-R [06] ———————— (Obtaining Additional Copies)

80 == Price Increases —————– (13 Things Likely to Cost More in 2015)

82 == Price Decreases —————– (12 Things Likely to Cost Less in 2015)

84 == Car Insurance [08] ——- (Reasons Other Driver Insurance Won’t Pay)

85 == Renters Insurance [03] —————————– (Facts worth Knowing)

86 == Saving Money ——————— (Save 10+% on Everything You Buy)

88 == Fall Contractor Scam ————————————— (How it Works)

89 == Veteran Scams [01] ————————————— (How they Work)

89 == Tax Burden for New Mexico Retirees —————– (As of Dec 2014)

91 == Tax Burden for Alabama Residents ——————– (As of Dec 2014)

01 == Thrift Savings Plan 2014 ———– (Share Prices + YTD Gain or Loss)

                                         * GENERAL INTEREST *                                        .

  94 == Notes of Interest ————————————- (16 thru 31 Dec2014)

  95 == 113th Congress [02] ————– (Not the Least Productive in History)

  97 == Expiration Dates —————————– (7 Things Not to Overstock)

  99 == Household Aids: Baking Soda ————————————— (Uses)

101 == Consumer Reports ———————— (Who is Checking Up on You)

103 == Korean Comfort Women ——— (Victims of Japanese WWII Troops)

104 == Korean Comfort Women [01] ———————– (Victims of History)

105 == Jewelry Tips ——————————— (Jeweler Tricks of the Trade)

107 == Photos That Say It All ———————————— (Father and Son)

107 == WWII Ads —————————————— (Mrs. Peek’s Puddings)

108 == Normandy Then & Now ——————————– (Carentan France)

108 == Have You Heard? ————————————— (Navy beat Army)

109 == They Grew Up to Be ———– (Shawna Waldron | Little Giants 1994)

109 == Interesting Ideas ————————————- (Trash Container Tip)

109 == Moments of US History ————————- (B-17E Personnel 1942)

Note:

1.  The page number on which an article can be found is provided to the left of each article’s title

2. Numbers contained within brackets [ ] indicate the number of articles written on the subject.  To obtain previous articles send a request to raoemo@sbcglobal.net.

                                                *ATTACHMENTS*                                            .

Attachment – RAO Bulletin 01 January 2015

Attachment – Veteran Legislation as of 28 Dec 2014

Attachment – Iowa Vet State Benefits & Discounts Dec 2014

Attachment – Military History Anniversaries 1 thru 31 Jan

Attachment – Retiree Activity\Appreciation Days (RAD) Schedule as of Dec 26, 2014

-o-o-O-o-o-

TO READ and/or DOWNLOAD THE ABOVE ARTICLES, ATTACHMENTS, OR PAST BULLETINS GO TO:

 

– http://www.nhc-ul.com/rao.html (PDF Edition w/ATTACHMENTS)

– http://www.veteransresources.org (PDF & HTML Editions w/ATTACHMENTS)
– 
http://frabr245.org  (PDF & HTML Editions in Word format)

– http://veteraninformationlinksasa.com/retiree-assistance-office.html (HTML Edition)
– 
http://www.veteransresources.org/rao-bulletin (past Bulletins)

– http://w11.zetaboards.com/CFLNewsChat/topic/10387883/1 (Index of Previous Articles 140701)

Veterans to Receive 1.5 Percent Cost-of-Living Increase

New Rates for Compensation and Pension Benefits in 2014

WASHINGTON (Dec. 4, 2013) – Veterans, their families and survivors receiving disability compensation and pension benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs will receive a 1.5 percent cost-of-living increase in their monthly payments beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

“We’re pleased there will be another cost-of-living increase for Veterans, their families and their survivors,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “The increase expresses in a tangible way our Nation’s gratitude for the sacrifices made by our service-disabled and wartime Veterans.”

For the first time, payments will not be rounded down to the nearest dollar.  Until this year, that was required by law.  Veterans and survivors will see additional cents included in their monthly compensation benefit payment.

For Veterans without dependents, the new compensation rates will range from $130.94 monthly for a disability rated at 10 percent to $2,858.24 monthly for 100 percent.  The full rates are available on the Internet atwww.benefits.va.gov/compensation/rates-index.asp.

The COLA increase also applies to disability and death pension recipients, survivors receiving dependency and indemnity compensation, disabled Veterans receiving automobile and clothing allowances, and other benefits.

Under federal law, cost-of-living adjustments for VA’s compensation and pension must match those for Social Security benefits.  The last adjustment was in January 2013 when the Social Security benefits rate increased 1.7 percent.

In fiscal year 2013, VA provided over $59 billion in compensation benefits to nearly 4 million Veterans and survivors, and over $5 billion in pension benefits to more than 515,000 Veterans and survivors.

For Veterans and separating Servicemembers who plan to file an electronic disability claim, VA urges them to use the joint DoD/VA online portal, eBenefits. Registered eBenefits users with a premium account can file a claim online, track the status, and access a variety of other benefits, including pension, education, health care, home loan eligibility, and vocational rehabilitation and employment programs.

For more information about VA benefits, visit www.benefits.va.gov, or call 1-800-827-1000

FRAUD ALERT

FRAUD ALERT: Veterans should be aware of a marketing scam targeting callers trying to reach the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Call Center or GI Bill Call Center. A marketing company has established two fraudulent numbers that differ from the two official VA call center numbers by one digit. If the fraudulent number is dialed by mistake, the answering party will offer a gift card and try to obtain personal and financial information, including credit card information, from the caller. The answering party may even transfer the caller to the VA after the caller’s information is obtained.

The VA will never ask you for a credit card number or banking information over the phone.

In all cases, before giving personal sensitive information over the phone make sure you know who you are talking to.

The numbers to be avoided are: 800-872-1000 (the VA National Call Center number is 800-827-1000) 888-442-4511 (the VA GI Bill Call Center number is 888-442-4551)

VA has notified law enforcement authorities to address this situation, and will provide additional information and guidance as necessary.

DOL Transition Assistance Program

The DOL Transition Assistance Program (TAP) is now open to everyone and is available (still free of charge) on line athttp://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/tap

It includes the following self-paced training programs:

1. Employment workshop including resume writing, interview tips and job search
2. Resilient transitions
3. MOC crosswalk to civilian occupations
4. Personal financial planning for transition
5. VA Benefits I and II
6. Career Paths
a. Technical training
b. Higher education
c. Entrepreneur

Please pass this information on to your networks.

Thanks,
Ann

Ann Greenlee
Director Hawaii and Guam
Veterans’ Employment & Training Service (VETS)
US Department of Labor  | http://www.dol.gov/vets

When are we going to FIGHT to get our Tricare “PRIME” back here on Maui???!!!

Aloha;

In Hawaii, retired service members are not being treated equally wrt our Health Insurance.  As we all know Tricare comes in two plans.  Tricare “Standard” and Tricare “PRIME”.

The Standard plan has no premium but high cost for doctor visits and hospitalization (20% – which could equal thousands of dollars per year).  A relatively healthy retired service member may prefer the Standard plan.

The Prime plan does have a premium (very low about $75/mo), but covers nearly ALL Hospital costs and only a $12 Co-Pay for doctor visits.  Service members in poorer health needing Hospital procedures and doctors visits may prefer the Prime plan.

Prior to 10/1/2013 retired service members could choose the plan that best fit their needs.  NO MORE.  As of 10/1/2013 ONLY retired service members on Oahu are allowed the Prime plan.

This is WRONG and MUST be corrected. We ALL earned equal healthcare treatment by virtue of 20 years of Honorable Active Military or Naval Service. We are NOT now receiving that equal treatment

If retired service members on any other island need multiple medical visits and hospital care but can NOT AFFORD these new costs, the governments answer is TOUGH LUCK, TO BAD, OH WELL.  I’ve been forced to cancel a procedure that my doctor and two consulting physicians say I need.  I had to take this action because I can NOT AFFORD the new cost associated with Tricare Standard.  I could easily afford it under the PRIME plan I’ve paid into since 1996.

I contacted my Member of Congress (Tulsi Gabbard) and received no action from her.  She reported back to me only that this was directed by DOD and that I should contact Tricare and request a waiver.  I contacted Tricare and was informed there “IS” no waiver I can request if I live on Maui.

So here we are.  Hawaii’s retired service members, brother and sisters in arms, who earned equal retirement benefits but NOT receiving them.

Mahalo,
Mark Gallup
CPO/USN (Ret.)

Under this proposal, beneficiaries who live more than 40 miles, but not more than 100 miles, from a Military Treatment Facility or a base closure site may apply for a waiver which would allow them to remain on TRICARE Prime.
Aloha Representative Gabbard:

Mahalo for your timely reply.

The “correction” you suggest does not help us on Maui.  I’ve contacted Tricare and have been told the option you suggested “Does Not Apply to Maui”.  We cannot even apply for the waiver if we live on Maui.  So here we are on Maui, STILL not receiving EQUAL Retirement Benefits as our fellow Veterans on Oahu.  THIS IS NOT RIGHT!!!  And it MUST be corrected.  We ALL served 20+ years of Honorable Active Military or Naval Service.  We ALL “EARNED” the same Retirement Benefits.  But we are not all RECEIVING the same Retirement Benefits.

As I mentioned in my initial email, I can NOT afford the Hospital costs associated with Tricare “Standard”.  I been forced to tell my doctor to cancel a procedure that she and two consulting physicians agree I need, because I can NOT afford it now.  I could if I still had the “PRIME” plan I’ve paid into since 1996.

Please take some action on this.  Offer up legislation to treat all Hawaii’s retired service members EQUAL again.  PLEASE.  Pick up Senator Inouye’s sword and FIGHT for Hawaii’s Veterans in his spirit.  You know it’s the “Right thing to do”.

If not you, who?
If not now, when?

Mahalo,
Chief Mark Gallup
United States Navy (Ret.)