The of The enlisted - The Retired Enlisted Association

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					                                                   The                                                                            APRIL 2011

                                                   of The enlisted
           ESTABLISHIED IN 1963                                           A Publication of The Retired Enlisted Association
            UNITED WE STAND

            George Skonce (1915-2000)
             Dean Sorell (1921-2004)                News Briefs:
                   -2010-2011-                       2 Military Funeral Disorderly Conduct            11 National Committee News
               -BOARD OF DIRECTORS-
               (COMMITTEES LISTED)                   4 Department of Defense to Measure                    11 TREA Memorial Foundation
National President                                     Impact of Guard and Reserve on
   Arthur Cooper (Convention/TSCL Liaison)                                  America’s Workforce                            12 Washington Legislative Update
1st Vice President
   John Martinez (Membership)                        4 Tricare Cancer Screenings
   Fax: 605-343-3977                               4 Exchange Benefit Endures for Retirees          18 TREA Accessory Sale
2nd Vice President
   Alexander E. "Al" Ballok, Jr. (CSU&A)             5 Military Senior Leadership
   Fax: 847-662-2353                                5 Veteran Status                                 14 TSCL Corner
3rd Vice President
   John Adams (Bylaws & Standing Rules)              5 2013 COLA Watch                                   “Legislative to Establish A Fair COLA
Treasurer                                            6 Tricare Referrals and Authorizations              Introduced”
   Edward Cates (Finance)
   Fax: 719-593-0112                                 6 Tricare User Fees
2 Year Directors                                     6 VA Appeals                                     16 National Auxilairy
   C. D. Rice, Jr. (Credentials/Nominations)
   Fax: 303-574-9623                                 8 Vet Toxic Exposure - McMurdo                       16 Application
                                                     9 VA Caregiver Program                               16 WEF/Benevolent Program
   Paul Ott (Scholarship)
   Fax: 605-718-0974                              9 Sen. Burr Introduces Bill to Address
1 Year Directors
   Richard Delaney              (Five-Year Plan/       Backlog in Disability Claims for Legislative Affairs)
   Thomas “Butch” Liebaert (Public Relations)          Veterans
   Fax: 715-718-0092                               10 VA Women Advisory Committee
Past National Presidents’ Council
   Charlie Flowers (Awards)                         14 Frank Woodruff Buckles
   Fax: 303-457-5159                             18 VA Minority Veterans Panel
   Edward “Ed” Pacheco
   Fax: 719-637-1091
Veteran Service Officer (VSO)
   C. D. Rice, Jr.
   Fax: 303-574-9623
TREA Memorial Foundation Chairman
   Bill DeBoer
   Fax: 719-570-7065
TREA Senior Citizens League Chairman
   Larry Hyland

Director for Operations - TREA HQ
Sharon Rhatican -                      Advertising Index:                              ********************
Washington Executive Director - TREA DC
Deirdre Holleman -              3 Galiher DeRobertis Ono-Mesothelioma          15 Membership Benefits
                    -THE VOICE-
Editor-Publications Coordinator                      7 Corporate Travel Services - “Salute to       19 TREA Accessory Order Form
Tammy Clowers -
                                                            Valor”                                  20 Membership Application
TREA National Headquarters
1111 South Abilene Court                            17 Charitable Recycling-Old Cell Phones
Aurora, CO 80012-4909
800-338-9337 • 303-752-0660
Fax: 303-752-0835 • 888-882-0835
Web Page:

TREA Washington Office
1001 N Fairfax St, Suite 102
Alexandria, VA 22314
703-684-1981• 800/554-8732
                                                                                      TREA Mission Statement
Fax: 703-548-4876 • 866-548-4876
                                                      The mission of The Retired Enlisted Association is to enhance the quality of life for uni-
TREA Senior Citizens League
                                                      formed services enlisted personnel, their families and survivors - including active compo-
800-333-8725 • 703-548-5568
Fax: 703-684-3258 e-mail:
                                                   nents, reserve and guard components, and all retirees; to stop the erosion of earned benefits
Web Page:                       through our legislative efforts; to maintain our esprit de corps, dedication and patriotism;
                                                                 and to continue our devotion and allegiance to God and Country.

      The Voice e-Mag                                                            Page 1                                                 April 2011
          News Briefs
Military Funeral Disorderly Conduct, by Lee Ross-On March          tion to the Westboro cause, but the
2, the Supreme Court, in an 8-1 deci-        funeral provided the protesters an
sion, ruled that members of the rene-        opportunity to speak out against gov-
gade Westboro Baptist Church have a          ernment policies. Snyder’s father,
constitutionally protected right to          Albert Snyder, didn’t want anything do
protest military funerals even though        with the picketers when he buried his
their demonstrations are widely              son. “I want them to stop doing this to
despised and deplored. The case pre-         our military men and women,” Snyder
sented the justices with a high-profile      told Fox News in October before the
question about the breadth of First          arguments. “I want the judges to hear
Amendment speech and assembly pro-           that this case is not about free speech,
tections. A majority of justices ruled       it’s about targeted harassment.” The
that these fundamental rights outweigh       ruling acknowledged Westboro’s spuri-
the concerns of grieving family mem-         ous choice of location for its protest.
bers who would rather not deal with          Nonetheless, Roberts concluded that
                                                                                           protests. A group of 21 news organiza-
what they say are obnoxious protesters       “Westboro addressed matters of public
                                                                                           tions joined a brief defending West-
from the Kansas church. “Speech is           import on public property, in a peaceful
                                                                                           boro’s case. While calling their views
powerful. It can stir people to action,      manner, in full compliance with the
                                                                                           “inexplicable and hateful,” they
move them to tears of both joy and sor-      guidance of local officials.”
                                                                                           expressed concern that a ruling against
row, and — as it did here — inflict            In the days leading up to the funeral,
                                                                                           the church would chill the activities of
great pain,” Chief Justice John Roberts      Westboro parishioners, including Fred
                                                                                           anyone who wants to speak out on a
wrote in his majority opinion. “On the       Phelps, notified local authorities of
                                                                                           controversial issue and “threatens to
facts before us, we cannot react to that     their intention to picket the service.
                                                                                           expand dramatically the risk of liability
pain by punishing the speaker. As a          They were kept 1,000 feet away from
                                                                                           for news media coverage and commen-
nation we have chosen a different            the church and because of the use of an
course — to protect even hurtful             alternative entrance for church-goers
                                                                                             In response to the court’s ruling VFW
speech on public issues to ensure that       there was no disruption to the memori-
                                                                                           National Commander, Richard Eubank
we do not stifle public debate.” Justice     al. Seven protestors held numerous
                                                                                           stated, “The Veterans of Foreign Wars
Samuel Alito was the only dissent, writ-     signs including some that read, “Thank
                                                                                           of the U.S. thanks the Supreme Court
ing that the church protests simply go       God for Dead Soldiers,” “God Hates
                                                                                           for considering the case, but is greatly
too far. “Our profound national commit-      Fags,” and “You’re Going to Hell.”
                                                                                           disappointed with the result. The West-
ment to free and open debate is not a        There were no arrests. Snyder filed a
                                                                                           boro Baptist Church may think they
license for the vicious verbal assault       lawsuit against Phelps based on the
                                                                                           have won, but the VFW will continue to
that occurred in this case,” Alito wrote.    protest and a subsequent post on the
                                                                                           support community efforts to ensure no
“In order to have a society in which         Westboro website about his son. A jury
                                                                                           one hears their voice, because the right
public issues can be openly and vigor-       awarded Snyder nearly $11 million in
                                                                                           to free speech does not trump a family’s
ously debated, it is not necessary to        damages for the intentional infliction of
                                                                                           right to mourn in private.”
allow the brutalization of innocent vic-     emotional distress and invasion of pri-
                                                                                             Jimmie L. Foster, national commander
tims like petitioner. I therefore respect-   vacy. That award was later cut in half
                                                                                           of The American Legion said, “While
fully dissent.”                              and then the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court
                                                                                           we understand the Supreme Court rul-
  The ruling upholds a lower-court deci-     of Appeals set aside the decision in its
                                                                                           ing and we appreciate the sanctity of
sion to invalidate a $5 million judgment     entirety ruling that the protests were
                                                                                           freedom of speech, we are very disap-
in favor of the father of a dead Marine      absolutely protected by the First
                                                                                           pointed that any American would
whose funeral was targeted by the pro-       Amendment. Wednesday’s ruling by the
                                                                                           believe it appropriate to express such
testers. For years, the Westboro pro-        Supreme Court upholds the Fourth Cir-
                                                                                           sentiments as those expressed by the
testers have popped up at places across      cuit’s decision but Roberts made clear
                                                                                           Westboro Baptist Church, especially at
the country to voice their displeasure       on several occasions that his ruling is
                                                                                           the funeral of an American hero who
with government policies they think          limited to the specific facts of this case.
                                                                                           died defending the very freedoms this
promote homosexuality. They did so in        Roberts carefully noted that the ruling
                                                                                           church abuses.”
2006 at the funeral for Matthew Sny-         doesn’t address the First Amendment
der, a Marine killed in Iraq. Matthew        viability of a Maryland law, passed after                                            t
Snyder was not gay and had no connec-        the Snyder funeral, banning all funeral
The Voice e-Mag                                                Page 2                                                     April 2011
    Department of Defense to Measure Impact of Guard and Reserve on America’s Workforce
          Launches national survey to measure benefits and challenges of employing Guard and Reserve members
  ESGR News Release, Arlington, VA – future, I ask for your input to help us valuable employees, but their extended
The Department of Defense released a shape policies concerning the relation- absences can sometimes burden their
nationwide survey to gain insight into ship between our service members and civilian employers,” said Dennis
the benefits and challenges of employ- their civilian employers. I encourage McCarthy, Assistant Secretary of
ing members of the Guard and Reserve. employers across the nation to take Defense for Reserve Affairs. “Our goal
The Department of Defense National part in The Department of Defense for this survey is to identify best prac-
Survey of Employers is the Depart- National Survey of Employers. Your feed- tices in supporting employers of Guard
ment’s largest study of its kind since back will allow us to build on the suc- and Reserve members and evaluate the
the United States entered sustained cess of the past and chart a mutually effectiveness of Department of Defense
military operations nearly 10 years ago beneficial course for the future. Thank programs.”
in the aftermath of September 11, you for your patriotism and continued              Employer Support of the Guard and
2001.                                     support of our citizen warriors in the Reserve (ESGR), a Department of
   “For the past nine years our nation National Guard and Reserve. When it Defense agency, is sending the survey
has been at war and we have asked a comes to the defense of our nation, we to 80,000 employers, who will have
tremendous sacrifice of the civilian all serve.”                                   eight weeks to complete the questions.
employers of our National Guard and         The promise of a secure job provides The sample includes employers of every
Reserve members. Your response has service members and their families size and industry, from all across Amer-
been inspiring. We could not do it with- with stability and peace of mind, partic- ica. The randomly selected participants
out you. From providing differential pay ularly as returning citizen warriors face will receive a letter in the mail this
for activated Reservists to caring for unemployment. Employers often adapt week with instructions for completing
families of our deployed Guardsmen, supportive initiatives that exceed the the survey online. Survey participants
employers across the nation have expectations of federal law, but the dif- should visit and click on the
proven themselves to be critical part- ficult economy and long war have had a survey link to provide their feedback on
ners in our national defense,” said definite impact on employers.                  employing members of the Guard and
Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the        “Guard and Reserve members often Reserve.
Joint Chiefs of Staff. “As we look to the return from military service as more                                          t

Tricare Cancer Screenings: Exchange Benefit Endures for Retirees - The beginning stages of      Exchange Press Release, Dallas, TX - The    Army, Air Force Association, Military Offi-
colorectal cancer often have no        Exchange Retiree Advisory Council             cers Association of America, Reserve Offi-
symptoms. Because of this, early       (ERAC) has drafted a new charter and          cers Association, Non-Commissioned Offi-
screening saves lives. For Tricare     committed to a new focus for 2011. The        cers Association, The Retired Enlisted
Prime and Standard beneficiaries,      group recently convened at the Army &         Association and National Guard Associa-
there are no cost shares or co-pays    Air Force Exchange Service’s headquar-        tion of the United States.
for colorectal cancer screenings,      ters in Dallas, TX to discuss opportunities      “At approximately 2.3 million, retirees
as well as many other important        to focus efforts on behalf of the largest     account for 26 percent of the Exchange’s
preventive care services. For          group of authorized Exchange patrons -        12.3 million authorized shoppers,” said
Medicare-eligible beneficiaries        retirees.                                     Casella. “The changes to the charter will
covered by Tricare For Life,             As part of the renewed effort, the Coun-    allow for a more diverse and broader out-
Medicare covers colorectal cancer      cil will meet bi-annually with the            reach representation on the Council.”
screening tests and Tricare gener-     Exchange’s Commander, Maj. Gen. Bruce           The ERAC was established to assist the
ally pays the remainder of any         Casella, and other members of manage-         CG in being responsive to the needs of the
costs not paid by Medicare.            ment to exchange information about oper-      military retiree community. The Council
  To learn more about colorectal       ations which impact service to retiree        obtains advice, views and recommenda-
screening, visit the CDC’s Screen      patrons. Council members will also assist     tions from knowledgeable individuals and
for Life campaign webpage              in advocating the exchange benefit to the     organizations while promoting the         retiree community while advising the          Exchange benefit.
orectal/sf. For more information       Commander on issues of concern to the           At their recent meeting at the
about Tricare’s coverage of col-       military retirees.                            Exchange’s headquarters, the group
orectal cancer screenings, visit the     The composition of the Council has been     heard from leadership on Exchange con-
Tricare website                        increased to include additional military      tingency operations, sales, Exchange              offices and associations. Member organi-      Credit, real estate as well as outreach
                                   t   zations include Army Retirement Services      programs and discussed opportunities to
                                       Office, Air Force Retiree Services, Army      better communicate the Exchange benefit
                                       Chief of Staff’s Retiree Council, Air Force   to the retiree community.
                                       Retiree Council, Association of the U.S.                                               t
The Voice e-Mag                                              Page 4                                                   April 2011
Military Senior Leadership:                                                             Veteran Status
  GQ Weekly, by John M. Donnelly - By the end of this year, the U.S. military’s slate     NGAUS Press Release - Sen. Mark
of senior leaders will be wiped almost clean, giving President Obama a chance, if       Pryor (D-AR) is taking another shot at
he wants it, to change the tone and direction of defense policy from that of his        better defining who can legally call
predecessor. The extent of the turnover is unusual. Secretary of Defense Robert         themselves a veteran. An attempt at
M. Gates, a holdover from the Bush administration, leads the list, followed by four     this during the previous Congress died
of the six members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. On the way out are the chairman,       when one senator blocked action. Pryor
Adm. Mike Mullen, and the vice chairman, Marine Corps Gen. James E.                     introduced a bill that has the full sup-
Cartwright, although he is a leading candidate to replace Mullen. Also departing        port of the National Guard Association
this year are the Army’s chief of staff, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., and the chief of     of the United States (NGAUS). Current
naval operations, Adm. Gary Roughead. The Air Force chief of staff, Gen. Norton         law requires someone to have served a
A. Schwartz, is scheduled to leave a bit later, in August 2012. The only chief who      certain period on federal status to qual-
will be around for a while is the Marine Corps commandant, Gen. James F. Amos,          ify for full standing as a veteran. Some-
whose tenure lasts until 2014. That’s not all. Some key battlefield commanders          one who served 20 years in the Nation-
will also step down soon. They include the U.S. Special Operations Command boss,        al Guard or Reserve without that quali-
Adm. Eric Olson, and the commander of U.S. forces in Korea, Army Gen. Walter            fying period is a military retiree, but
“Skip” Sharp. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in                  not a veteran. Pryor‘s bill, Honor Amer-
Afghanistan, has been rumored to be leaving that post this year, although Penta-        ica’s Guard-Reserve Retirees Act of 2011
gon spokesman Geoff Morrell says Petraeus’ exit will not occur anytime soon.            (S491), has been referred to the Com-
  “It is highly unusual to have turnover of this magnitude at the senior levels of      mittee on Veterans Affairs. The text of
the services and the Pentagon,” says John Ullyot, a former senior aide for the Sen-     the bill reads, “Any person who is enti-
ate Armed Services Committee. The turnover will give Obama an opportunity to            tled under chapter 1223 of title 10 to
put his mark on the leadership in a short space of time. Before Gates leaves office,    retired pay for nonregular service or,
he will no doubt recommend officers for those jobs, although no names have been         but for age, would be entitled under
mentioned. The only prospective member of the chiefs who has been nominated is          such chapter to retired pay for nonreg-
Gen. Martin Dempsey, now the leader of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Com-            ular service shall be honored as a vet-
mand, who in recent months has plunged into studying the lessons the Army               eran but shall not be entitled to any
should learn from a decade of war. The biggest open question, of course, is who         benefit by reason of this section.”
will replace Gates. Among the more intriguing possibilities is that Secretary of        Although it will not add any benefits
State Hillary Rodham Clinton would move from Foggy Bottom to the Pentagon.              and, therefore, has no cost to the gov-
Several current and soon-to-be-former senators, such as Joseph I. Lieberman of          ernment, the bill would allow someone
Connecticut, are also on the list of potential candidates being discussed. A big        who serves honorably for 20 years in
question on the joint chiefs is whether whomever Obama chooses will be assertive        the Guard or Reserve the simple privi-
enough behind closed doors when standing up to a Defense secretary or even the          lege of legally being a veteran. Techni-
president when necessary. During the tenure of Defense Secretary Donald H.              cally, a person who is not a legal veter-
Rumsfeld, in particular, and to some degree since then, the service chiefs have         an is not supposed to wear medals on
played diminished roles. “The question is,” Ullyot says, “by the president’s            Veterans Day, for example, or salute the
appointments, how much is he going to signal a return to relative autonomy for          playing of the national anthem,
the service chiefs and to name forceful leaders who are able to set the agenda for      although this happens frequently, of
their services in an era of significant challenges?”                                    course.
  Charles Stevenson, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced Inter-                                                t
national Studies, says both the president and the Senate will be looking for “real-
ly good people who will be honest with them.” Assertiveness and amicability may
                                                                                        2012 COLA Watch
both be needed in the years ahead, as many of the expenses — such as training
costs — that have been tucked into war spending bills over the past decade will
                                                                                          The Bureau of Labor Statistics
not have to be paid for in smaller, regular budgets. “They’re going to have to work
                                                                                        announced the February CPI-W of
together — hopefully as collegially as the group of chiefs I’ve been privileged to
                                                                                        217.535 a 0.5 percent increase over the
work with — as the money gets tight,” says the Army’s Casey. “That brings out
                                                                                        January value of 216.400.
the worst in folks.” The years ahead are bound to be a time of transition for rea-
                                                                                          The February value of 217.535 is up
sons other than fiscal ones. Each of the armed services — indeed the military as
                                                                                        0.94% from the 2008 COLA Base of
a whole — is struggling to define its identity. They have spent a decade embroiled
                                                                                        215.5. The 2008 COLA base was used
in counterinsurgency and nation-building. And they don’t know what the future
                                                                                        to calculate the 2010 COLA since there
holds, Dempsey said at his March 3 confirmation hearing. The world, he said, is
                                                                                        was no 2009 COLA as a result of nega-
“a far more dangerous place today than it’s ever been. And we owe the nation an
                                                                                        tive inflation from the third quarter of
agile force that can adapt to the future, whatever it finds in that future.”
                                                                                        2008 to the third quarter of 2009.

The Voice e-Mag                                               Page 5                                                  April 2011
Tricare Referrals & Authorizations                         Tricare User Fees
  Tricare News Release-Referrals are used when a pri-, by Terry Howell - According to a report released by the
mary care manager (PCM) or provider identifies a need      Center for American Progress (CAP), the cost of military health
for specialty care or services. As a Tricare Standard      care will exceed $52B in 2012, if left unchecked. That’s a 300
beneficiary, visit the Tricare-authorized provider of      percent increase over the last decade. The report, titled “Doing
your choice whenever you need care thus referrals are      What Works”, also points out that by 2015, health care will
not required. Prime users do not have the option of        account for 10 percent of Pentagon spending. Like previous
using the provider of their choice and must rely on        deficit-busting reports, the Center for American Progress’s rec-
referrals if additional care is needed. Their PCM          ommendations would not change health care services provided to
decides what type of provider you should see, for how      active duty troops, but suggests changes that specifically target
long and for what services. Some services require prior    working-age retirees who choose Tricare Prime over the more
authorization from your regional contractor. A prior       expensive employer provided commercial coverage option. While
authorization is a review of the requested service to      the facts and figures presented in the report may be accurate, the
determine if it is medically necessary at the requested    report insinuates that military retirees, especially those with sec-
level of care. If you have questions about authorization   ond careers, are hurting the country by taking advantage of the
requirements, visit Services       benefits they have earned. Unlike previous reports, the CAP
that always require prior authorization are as follows:    report also calls for implementing fees for retirees over 65 who
  Adjunctive dental services                               use Tricare for Life; the supplemental policy for veterans enrolled
  Extended Care Health Option services                     in Medicare. Under the proposal TFL enrollees would pay a $120
  Home health services                                     annual enrollment fee, see an increase in cost-sharing with
  Hospice care                                             Medicare and would lose coverage for the first $500 in expenses.
  Nonemergency inpatient admissions for substance          The CAP report specifically recommends the following steps:
use disorders or behavioral health care                      1. Gradually phase in increased fees for military retirees,
  Outpatient behavioral health care visits beyond the      including a tiered fee structure for working-age retirees-“Con-
eighth visit per fiscal year (Oct. 1–Sept. 30)             gress and the Defense Department should gradually increase Tri-
  Transplants—all solid organ and stem cell                care enrollment fees paid by working-age retirees. The fees
Note: Each regional contractor has additional prior        should be tiered based on retirement pay. Additionally, Tricare for
authorization requirements. Visit your regional con-       Life enrollees should pay a $120 per person annual enrollment
tractor‘s website to learn about these requirements,       fee, as recommended by the Task Force on the Future of Military
which may change from time to time.                        Health Care.” The report claims this would mean a savings of $6
                                                       t   billion a year.
                                                             2. Increase cost sharing to encourage responsible use of Tricare
VA Appeals                                                 for Life benefits-“Tricare for Life should not cover the first $500
  Associated Press - The Supreme Court is allowing the     of an enrollee’s out-of-pocket expenses, and should be limited to
wife of a military veteran who missed a court deadline     50 percent of the next $5,000 in Medicare cost sharing, as rec-
because of his mental illness to move forward with an      ommended by the president’s fiscal commission.” The report
appeal after he was denied benefits. On March 1, the       claims this would mean a savings of $4 billion a year.
high court decided to let Doretha H. Henderson, wife of      3. Limit double coverage for high-income retirees and peg Tri-
the late David Henderson, continue his appeal. Hen-        care premiums to Medicare Part B costs-“Tricare coverage should
derson’s husband was discharged from the armed             be limited to working-age military retirees below certain income
forces in 1952 after being diagnosed with paranoid         limits, or those who don’t otherwise have access to insurance
schizophrenia. He asked the Veterans Affairs Depart-       through a spouse or civilian employer. Additionally, to ensure that
ment for home care in 2001 and was denied. He missed       Tricare fees continue to be adjusted in the future, Tricare premi-
a 120-day deadline for appeal by 15 days, blaming it on    um levels should be pegged to Medicare Part B premiums.” The
his illness. Two lower courts refused to let him appeal.   reports estimates a $5 billion a year savings.
Henderson died October 24, and his wife has taken up         Note the last recommendation, “Tricare coverage should be lim-
his case. The high court said Mrs. Henderson could         ited to working-age military retirees below certain income lim-
appeal the lower courts’ decision. American Legion         its.” This should set off alarms! It’s the first step toward chang-
National Commander Jimmie Foster praised the               ing Tricare from an earned benefit of military retirement to a
Supreme Court’s recent ruling that the 120-day             needs-based entitlement. The fact is that the current cost of Tri-
requirement to file an appeal with the Court of Appeals    care is unsustainable, and many retirees are open to the idea of
for Veterans Claims is not concrete - an individual may    “modest” increases in Tricare Prime enrollment fees. In fact, vet-
take longer if circumstances warrant. “The court’s rul-    erans organizations, are advocating the idea of limiting Tricare
ing will certainly make a difference in the outcomes of    annual fee increases to the annual cost-of-living-adjustment
many veterans’ appeals,” Foster said.                      (COLA) for military retirees. Although, past attempts to raise Tri-
                                                      t    care fees for retirees have failed, the current deficit situation has
                                                           made Tricare a prime target from virtually all sides.

The Voice e-Mag                                            Page 6                                                    April 2011
The Voice e-Mag   Page 7   April 2011
Vet Toxic Exposure ~ McMurdo
  by Charles Digges - A small nuclear power plant operated by
the United States at Antarctica‘s McMurdo Sound has been
implicated in dozens of cases of an unusual cancer in per-
sonnel who worked at or near the station between the years
1964 and 1973, US and New Zealand media have indicated.
Newspapers and television stations from San Diego, Ohio,
Florida, Idaho and other states have charged that former
naval personnel who worked on an Antarctic military action
called “Operation Deep Freeze” contracted their cancers
from working at or near the station during it‘s short nine-
year operational period. The reactor, a PM-3A 1.75
Megawatt installation that also provided heating and water The PM-3A reactor at the US Navy’s base in McMurdo Sound,
desalinization, was used to power the McMurdo US Naval Antarctica, before it was dismantled.
Station. The PM-3A reactor operated on uranium-235 fuel of
93 percent enrichment, according to official US Navy docu-
ments. Those interviewed by ABC news also indicated that Station. Swinney had written many letters to the US Veter-
the reactor at McMurdo Antarctic base was known among ans Administration questioning the link between his cancer
staff as “nukey poo” for the frequency and volume of its and the reactor but received few responses. The Veterans
leaks. A US naval report issued upon its decommissioning:      Administration is especially touchy about admitting to cases
  (                         of radioactive contamination. Over the 10 years US forces
  fil_wews_mcmurdo-final-operating-report.pdf)                 have been using depleted uranium body armor, combat vehi-
  indicated the reactor experienced 438 malfunctions – near- cle armor and bullets in its various and ongoing conflicts in
ly 56 a year – in its operational lifetime, including leaking the Middle East, the Veterans Administration has refused to
water surrounding the reactor and hairline cracks in the admit that so-called Gulf War Syndrome has anything to do
reactor lining. The emissions of low level waste water where with radiation poisoning, instead pathologizing this veterans
in direct contravention of the Antarctic Treaty, which bans group as shell shocked.
military operations as well as radioactive waste in Antarcti-    The initial media reports connecting Swinney‘s death to his
ca. In one of the more egregious PM-3A incidents, in 1963,     work with the McMurdo reactor brought forth an avalanche
the reactor was shut down due to a lack of coolant in the of other complaints lodged to the US Department of Veterans
reactor core.                                                  Affairs and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown from other veterans
  The plant was finally decommissioned in connection with of the McMurdo site suffering from cancer. The Department
“possible stress corrosion cracking,” the US Navy said. “The of Veterans Affairs and Brown have promised to assist veter-
cause of the increased malfunctions is attributable to the ans in determining if there is a connection between the
fact that the initial control rod drive mechanism system was nuclear plant and veterans who have filed claims, said ABC
a complex experimental system which was continually modi- in Cleveland. Brown told ABC that he is sending letters to
fied in efforts for improvement.” The Navy report, nonethe- both US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Veterans
less indicated that no excessive radiation was found at the Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki with requests to investigate
McMurdo site. The plant, built by Lockheed-Martin, was veterans’ cancer claims. Thomas Pamperin, the Veterans
designed to fit inside a C-130 Hercules US military cargo Administration’s Deputy Under Secretary for Policy thanked
transport, but because of fears of what the consequences of the media for its work on this important issue. “We are com-
a crash would be, the unit was shipped to McMurdo instead. mitted to working with the Department of Defense, veteran
After the reactor was closed down, the US shipped 7700 service organizations and veterans to ensure that all those
cubic meters of radioactive contaminated rock and dirt to who may have been exposed at McMurdo Station receive the
California, but passed through Dunedin, with a population of maximum amount of care and benefits they are entitled to
124,000, the second largest city on New Zealand‘s South under the law,” Pamperin told ABC news in Cleveland. But
Island, where it stayed for four days, raising local concerns, this comes as cold comfort to those who are still suffering
the New Zealand news site Yet, fuel for McMur- from cancers that the US Veterans Administration has yet to
do routinely passed through the New Zealand port of Lyttel- connect to the McMurdo Station to the illness.
ton, 12 kilometres south of Christchurch – South Island‘s        *Jim Landy of Pensacola is fighting stomach, liver and
biggest city at 376,000 inhabitants – on US Navy vessels via     brain cancer that he links to McMurdo. “I believe it was
a secret US-New Zealand agreement that the US would pay          a greater risk than we all assumed,” Landy told ABC-TV.
for any damage, reported.                            *Another veteran in Wisconsin survived testicular and
  One US naval veteran from Ohio, Charles Swinney, died a        lung cancer according to New Zealand‘s
year ago after a 16-year-battle with cancer. According to his    *Bob Boyles of North Carolina told of how he collapsed
wife Elaine, who lives in Cleveland, Swinney had some 200        and was rushed to hospital, and was told that he was suf-
tumors when he died. She told the Cleveland ABC-TV affili-
ate that her husband had worried for years as his cancer                                             McMurdo => Page 13
developed that it was a result of his work at the McMurdo
The Voice e-Mag                                            Page 8                                                April 2011
VA Caregiver Program                                                                    Sen. Burr Introduces Bill to
  VA Press Release, Washington DC - The     reported they were able to spend fewer      Address Backlog in Disability
Department of Veterans (VA) is expand-      hours per day devoted to caregiving.        Claims for Veterans
ing support nationally to caregivers of     “Dementia caregiving is such an all           Washington DC - Senator Richard
Veterans with Alzheimer’s disease. A        encompassing task,” said Dr. Linda          Burr (R-N.C.), Ranking Member of the
pilot program of the REACH VA               Nichols from the VA medical center in       Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs,
(Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s        Memphis, Tenn., and co-author of a          introduced a bill that will help veterans
Caregiver Health in VA) program             recent study on the program. “The           receive faster decisions on their dis-
showed great success in reducing            intervention provided time for them-        ability compensation claims. The bill
stress on caregivers while improving        selves, which caregivers never have         allows veterans who file “fully-devel-
care outcomes for the Veterans. “The        enough of. REACH VA improved our            oped claims” to be compensated for a
REACH VA model exemplifies the many         caregivers’ knowledge to manage care,       period up to one year prior to the date
different kinds of support VA offers to     made them feel more confident and           the claim was filed, so the veteran will
the caregivers of Veterans,” said Secre-    competent as they formed bonds with         not lose out on any benefits while col-
tary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinse-    the VA staff supporting them, and           lecting evidence.
ki. “This program has been proven to        decreased the inevitable feelings of iso-     “Often, the most time-consuming part
provide the right resources, training       lation and loneliness that come from a      of the disability claims process is wait-
and a renewed focus on personal health      selfless, but very sacrificial duty of      ing for VA to gather evidence. Veterans
that can make a world of difference to      care.”                                      who file complete claims will be able to
those caregivers and their Veterans.”         VA will roll out REACH VA on a            bypass that part of the claims process
“Caregivers step up every day to serve      national basis through home-based pri-      so they can get their answers more
Veterans they love who sacrificed to        mary care programs across the country.      quickly and move on with their lives.
defend our Nation,” Shinseki added. “To     In addition, the program will be modi-      This bill helps ensure that veterans are
them, caregiving is a labor of love and     fied to assist caregivers of Veterans       not missing out on the benefits they’ve
devotion, but that alone does not ease      with other diagnoses like spinal cord       earned,” said Senator Richard Burr.
the burden and personal stress placed       injury and traumatic brain injury. “Pro-      In his testimony at a joint hearing
on those who provide daily care for the     viding support to caregivers who sacri-     with Disabled American Veterans
disabled.” REACH VA involved 127            fice so much to allow Veterans to           (DAV) today, DAV National Commander
caregivers connected to 24 VA medical       remain at home surrounded by loved          and fellow North Carolinian, Wally
centers. The median age for the care-       ones is the right thing for VA to do,”      Tyson, called for continued reform of
giver was 72 and the majority of the        said Dr. Robert Petzel, VA’s under sec-     the VA claims processing system.
participants were spouses.                  retary for health. An article on the          “I agree with Commander Tyson that
  Typical issues caregivers face when       REACH VA program was published in           the claims processing system needs a
caring for Veterans with Alzheimer’s        the Feb. 28 issue of the Archives of        significant overhaul. While more must
disease and dementia include memory         Internal Medicine. Nichols and Dr. Jen-     be done, this bill is a step in the right
problems, behavior problems and the         nifer Martindale-Adams, also from VA’s      direction,” said Senator Burr.
need to provide basic attendance such       Memphis facility, are the lead authors        Specifically, the legislation imple-
as grooming assistance. Caregivers typ-     and based the VA pilot on the National      ments a retroactive effective date up to
ically reported feeling overwhelmed,        Institute on Aging and the National         one year prior to the filing of a claim
frustrated, cut off from family and         Institute for Nursing Research funded       accompanied by all necessary evidence.
friends, lonely, prone to bouts of crying   REACH II study. REACH VA is the first       By providing an incentive for veterans
and having worse physical health than       national clinical implementation of a       to file these fully-developed claims, this
the year before. For six months, the        proven behavioral intervention for          bill would help remove the need for the
REACH VA caregivers were provided 12        stressed and burdened dementia care-        Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to
individual in-home and telephone coun-      givers. Local caregiver support coordi-     collect evidence on all claims, a lengthy
seling sessions; five telephone support     nators are available to assist Veterans     process that can cause further delay
group sessions; a caregiver quick guide     of all eras and their caregivers in         and build upon the existing backlog in
with 48 behavioral and stress topics;       understanding and applying for VA’s         the decision-making process.
education on safety and patient behav-      many caregiver benefits. VA also fea-         VA successfully piloted a program at
ior management; and training for their      tures a website,,      ten VA regional offices through which
individual health and well being. Care-     with general information on REACH VA        VA expedited fully-developed claims.
givers saw their burden reduced; drops      and other caregiver support programs        Last year, VA expanded the fully-devel-
in depressive symptoms and their relat-     available through VA and the communi-       oped claim process to all VA regional
ed daily impacts; fewer frustrations,       ty.                                         offices. This legislation is designed to
including those that have clinical                                                 t    encourage the use of that specific pro-
potential for abuse; and decreases in                                                   gram.
dementia-related behaviors from the                                                                                             t
Veterans they cared for. Caregivers also
The Voice e-Mag                                              Page 9                                                   April 2011
VA Women Advisory Committee

  VA Press Release - Four new members have been appointed          women’s health and gynecology - from adolescent to post
to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Advisory Com-           menopausal care - to include surgical management of gyne-
mittee on Women Veterans, an expert panel that advises VA          cological problems and preventative care. She also serves as
on issues and programs affecting women Veterans. “The              adjunct assistant professor of obstetrics/gynecology at two
Advisory Committee on Women Veterans’ work is very impor-          universities.
tant in guiding VA’s efforts to address the ever changing              René A. Campos, Washington, D.C. A retired Navy Com-
needs of women Veterans,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs       mander; currently serves as the Deputy Director of Family
Eric K. Shinseki. “VA welcomes the newest members.”                Matters, Government Relations, Military Officers
Established in 1983, the advisory committee makes recom-           Association of America (MOAA).
mendations to the Secretary for administrative and legisla-            Helena R. Carapellatti, Upper Marlboro, MD. A retired
tive changes. The committee members are appointed to two-          Chief Master Sergeant, Air National Guard; currently tutors
year terms. The new committee members are: Jack Phillip            with the Literacy Council of Prince George’s County and
Carter, Jr., Bradenton, Fla.; Nancy A. Glowacki, Silver Spring,    owns a business with her spouse.
Md.; Nancy Kaczor, Franklin, Wis.; and Terry F. Moore, Stet-           Davy Coke, Poway, CA. A retired Navy Second Class Petty
son, Maine. “Throughout history women have played essen-           Officer with service in Vietnam; currently contributes as a
tial roles in the military,” Shinseki added. “It is VA’s respon-   trainer/mentor for new service members in the aerospace
sibility to anticipate and prepare for the evolving needs of       field.
women Veterans, their families and survivors.” Women Vet-              Valerie Cortazzo, Pittsburgh, PA. A former Navy admin-
erans are one of the fastest growing segments of the Veter-        istrative assistant and former employee of the Pittsburgh VA
ans population. There are 23.4 million Veterans; approxi-          Health Care System; currently serves as an advocate for Vet-
mately 1.8 million are women Veterans. They comprise near-         erans in southwestern Pennsylvania, specializing in mental
ly 8 percent of the total Veterans population and nearly 5 per-    health and women’s issues.
cent of all Veterans who use VA health care services.                  Karen S. Etzler, Amazonia, MO. A former U.S. Air Force
  VA estimates that by 2020 women Veterans will comprise           pneudraulic aircraft mechanic and personal affairs coun-
10 percent of the Veteran population. VA has women Veter-          selor; currently serves as a Veterans service officer/coun-
ans program managers at VA medical centers and women               selor and the women Veteran coordinator/counselor for the
Veterans coordinators at VA regional offices to assist women       Missouri Veterans Commission.
Veterans with health and benefits issues. following are addi-          Lindsay M. Long, Knoxville, TN. A former Marine avia-
tional details on the four new member s                            tion electronics technician trainee; currently works as a
    Jack Phillip Carter, Jr., Bradenton, Fla. A retired Marine     chemical operator for a private contractor, and serves as the
Corps lieutenant colonel, decorated for valor during the Per-      American Indian representative for the Department of Ener-
sian Gulf War; currently serves as lead detective of the eco-      gy’s Native American Committee.
nomic crimes section for the Sarasota police department.                Gloria Maser, Alexandria, VA. Colonel, U.S. Army
    Nancy A. Glowacki, Silver Spring, Md. A former Army            Reserves; former Deputy Chief of Staff Health Affairs, Multi-
Reserves officer; currently owns a consulting firm, where          National Security Transition Command – Iraq; currently
she serves as a subject matter expert on Veterans’ transition      serves as a Principal for a strategy and technology
issues, specializing in employment and special challenges of       organization.
disabled Veterans and Veterans of the Global War on                    Gundel M. E. Metz, Madison, WI. A retired Army Ser-
Terrorism.                                                         geant First Class; currently serves as a Women Veterans
   Nancy Kaczor, Franklin, Wis. A retired Air Force colonel,       Coordinator for the State of Wisconsin Department of
with service in Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan; cur-         Veterans Affairs.
rently serves as an active volunteer for a number of Veterans          Barbara Ward, Sacramento, CA. A former Air Force staff
and community service organizations.                               nurse; currently serves as the Deputy Secretary for Women
    Terry F. Moore, Stetson, Maine. A retired Air Force lieu-      and Minority Veterans Affairs for the California Department
tenant colonel; currently serves as chair of the Maine Advi-       of Veterans Affairs.
sory Commission on Women Veterans, and serves on several               Kayla Williams, Ashburn, VA. A former Army interpreter,
professional and Veterans service organizations.                   with service in Iraq; currently employed as a project associ-
  They will join the existing Committee members who                ate in a private research organization, conducting research
include:                                                           and analysis on intelligence, defense, military, and Veterans’
    Shirley Ann Quarles, (Chair), McCormick, SC. Colonel,          issues.
U.S. Army Reserve, Nurse Corps; currently a professor at
Medical College of Georgia’s School of Nursing.                                                                                t
     Matrice Browne, M.D., Olney, MD. A retired Army
Colonel; currently in private practice, specializing in

The Voice e-Mag                                               Page 10                                                  April 2011
                    National Committee News

The Voice e-Mag            Page 11      April 2011
W ASHINGTON U PDATE                                                                      by Deirdre Parke Holleman
                                                                                         Washington Executive Director

  1) Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP)               9/11/01. It has 18 co-sponsors. Rep Wilson’s HR179 would
(commonly known as concurrent receipt) and Combat                  also allow retirees who have started to receive their retired
Related Special Compensation (CRSC)-More co-sponsors               pay before the age of 60 (please see above) to receive TRI-
are signing on to the various bills that would abolish some,       CARE at the same time. It only has 1 co-sponsor. For the
or all, of the remaining restrictions for collecting both mili-    present members of the Guard and Reserve S325, sponsored
tary retired pay and VA service connected disability pay. Rep-     by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and HR948 sponsored by
resentative Sanford Bishop’s (D-GA) HR333 called the “Dis-         Rep David Loebsack (D-IA), would embed mental health
abled Veterans Tax Termination Act” support has now grown          providers with Reserve units. S325 has 4 co-sponsors while
to 108 co-sponsors. This bill would abolish the concurrent         HR498 has 6 co-sponsors.
receipt restriction for both longevity retirees with VA dis-         3) Survivors Benefits-We are pushing again in this ses-
ability ratings of 10%-40% and Chapter 61 medical retirees         sion of Congress to end the SBP/DIC offset. Again, Repre-
with less than 20 years of service. Senator Harry Reid (D-         sentative Joe Wilson of South Carolina has sponsored a bill in
NV) has sponsored a similar bill S344 called “The Retired          the House, HR178 “Military Surviving Spouse Equity Act.” It
Pay Restoration Act of 2011”. It has 17 co-sponsors. There         presently has 90 co-sponsors. On the Senate side our long
are 2 additional bills that each covers 1 group of retirees.       time champion Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) has reintroduced
Rep. Gus Bilirakis’ HR303 “The Retired Pay Restoration             his bill. S260 and it has 32 co-sponsors. This is a hard time
Act” would allow longevity retirees with VA rated disabili-        to get a new spending bills passed but that is no reason to let
ties of 10%-40% to collect both payments. It has 43 co-spon-       up. This is a matter of fairness. We are also trying to find
sors. While Representative Joe Wilson’s (R-SC) HR186               sponsors to support a change in the DIC payments to be 55%
would allow Chapter 61 Medical retirees, with less than 20         of a 100% VA disability payment. This would put DIC sur-
years of service, to collect both retired and disability pay. It   vivors in the same position as survivors of civilian federal
has 11 co-sponsors.                                                employees. Representative Walter Jones (R-NC) has also
  2) Reserve and National Guard Benefits-There are sev-            introduced HR493 called the “Military Retiree Survivor
eral new bills being proposed to help both the present and         Comfort Act.” It would allow families to retain the last full
                       retired members of the National Guard       month of retired pay for a deceased military retiree. It has 2
                          and Reserve. Presently for every 90      co-sponsors.
                          days that a member of the Guard or         4) DoD Health Care-Well now we know. DoD want a 13%
                          Reserves has been activated and          increase this year for retirees under the age of 65 enrolled in
                         served on active duty he or she can       TRICARE Prime (from $230 a year to $260 a year for a sin-
                           start collecting their retired pay 90   gle retiree and an increase from $460 a year to $520 for a
                           days before they reach the age of       family). But they also want the enrollment fee to be indexed
                          60. (And, of course if they were acti-   to a yearly Medical inflation rate (exactly which one they
                           vated for 180 days, it would be 180     won’t say.) Their present calculations use a 6.2% inflation
                             days active duty, etc.) However,      rate. That type of yearly compounded increase would quick-
                                the law only started in January    ly eat into a retirees retired pay. So the fight has begun. Rep-
                                    2008 (when the law went        resentative Walter Jones (R-NC) introduced HR1092 would
                                      into effect. HR181           prohibit all TRICARE copays, enrollment fees and
                                         sponsored by Rep. Joe     deductibles for this year. We are very grateful and working
                                          Wilson (R-SC) would      on getting similar legislation in the Senate. It only has 1 co-
                                           push the effective      sponsor Rep Dan Boren (D- OK). The drama continues with
                                             date     back    to   awarding the T-3 civilian TRICARE contracts. They have
                                                                   now awarded the contract for the South region to the pres-
                                                                   ent contractor Humana. Thus they have rejected United
                                                                   which initially won the contract 2 years ago. So, of course
                                                                   now United is protesting in the South and protesting in the
                                                                   west. More to come. Also, Rep. Jo Ann Emerson has again
                                                                   introduced her first rate HR238 - The “Military Retiree
                                                                   Health Care Relief Act of 2011” would grant any military
                                                                   retiree paying the Medicare Part B monthly premium a tax
                                                                   credit in the same amount. It presently has 8 co-sponsors.
                                                                     5) Veterans Affairs/Benefits-HR1025 and S146 the
                                                                   “Veteran Employment Transition Act of 2011’” would grant
                                                                   tax credits to companies hiring veterans (This is an urgent
                                                                   problem since unemployment for vets is even higher today

The Voice e-Mag                                               Page 12                                                    April 2011
                                                                                     <=McMurdo, from Page 8

                                                                                      fering from radiation-related can-
than unemployment for the general           6) BRAC-Nothing new here (a place-        cer. “The first thing the doctors
population). Representative Tim Walz’s    holder until everything breaks loose.)      asked me was, well, that’s the type
(D-MN) HR1025 have 2 co-sponsors            7)     The      Flag    Amendment-        of cancer you typically get from
while Senator Max Baucus ‘(D-MT)          H.J.RES.13 would propose an Amend-          exposure from radiation,” Boyles
S146 has 5 co-sponsors. Representa-       ment to the Constitution. “ giving Con-     said.
tive Walz has once again sponsored a      gress power to prohibit the physical        *ABC said before dying in 2002
bill that would grant certain retirees    desecration of the flag of the United       Karl Sackman of Idaho, another
from the reserves the status of veteran   States.” It is sponsored by Representa-     naval officer who served at the
HR1025 has 2 co-sponsors; while Sen-      tive Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO). So far it       McMurdo station, wrote the Veter-
ator Pryor’s (D-AR) S491 would do the     has 29 co-sponsors.                         ans Administration saying there
same thing. It has 2 co-sponsors. And       8) Honor and Remember Flag-Rep-           had been leaks at the plant.
finally Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI)       resentative Randy Forbes (R-VA) has         The PM-3A reactor at the US Navy’s
has sponsored S490. It would qualify      once again introduced a bill to have the   base in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica,
young adults, under the age of 26 to      federal government adopt the Honor         before it was dismantled.
remain on their CHAMPVA health care       and Remember Flag as an official
policies. (That would place them in the   emblem of the U.S. government. His                                            t
same position as those in the civilian    bill already has 110 co-sponsors.
world and those on TRICARE)                                                      t

                                    Mark your calendars now!

                        2011 National Convention is scheduled
                             for September 28-October 1
                                   in Reno, Nevada
                            Silver Legacy Resort & Casino

                              Read future issues of The VOICE
                                   for the latest details.

The Voice e-Mag                                             Page 13                                             April 2011
                                            Legislation to Establish A Fair COLA Introduced
                                     by Mike Watson
                                     TSCL Legislative Assistant

  In January and February 2011, there were a few pieces of        received $13,723.16 more through 2011, if the CPI-E had
very important legislation which, if signed into law, would       been used.
provide a more fair and accurate Social Security cost-of-liv-       Another important piece of legislation which would base
ing adjustment (COLA).                                            the COLA on the CPI-E was reintroduced in February. Rep.
  TSCL was very pleased when Reps. Charles Gonzalez (TX)          Eliot Engel (NY) reintroduced his Guaranteed 3% COLA for
and Peter DeFazio (OR) both introduced slightly different         Seniors Act of 2011 (H.R. 776), which would base COLAs on
versions of the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers        the CPI-E and guarantee that the COLA will never be less
(CPI-E) Act (H.R. 456 and H.R.798, respectively), which           than three percent. COLA protection like that afforded by
would base the Social Security COLA on the CPI-E. Current-        Engel’s COLA bill is especially important this year when
ly, COLAs are based on a CPI which tracks the spending pat-       there is no COLA but when health care premiums and other
terns of younger urban workers. However, most people who          expenses continue to increase.
depend on Social Security likely have different spending pat-       All three of these bills would give Social Security benefici-
terns—and experience inflation differently—than younger           aries and military retirees a more fair and accurate COLA.
workers.                                                          TSCL will work with Congress to gather support for these
  Recognizing this, in the 1980s the government began             bills and will resist any attempts to cut the COLAs received
tracking the spending patterns of older Americans, by creat-      by Social Security beneficiaries and military retirees.
ing the CPI-E. Despite creating the index, the government           TSCL will continue to educate Members of Congress about
does not use it for any programs. The Senior Citizens League      the importance of a fair COLA and all of our members’ con-
(TSCL) believes that the CPI-E is a more accurate measure         cerns. To learn more, please visit
of inflation for most retirees and should be used to calculate                                                                 t
COLAs. TSCL recently estimated that a senior who retired
with average Social Security benefits in 1984 would have

Frank Woodruff Buckles
  Frank Woodruff Buckles, the last surviving American veteran of World War
I, died on February 27, 2011at the age of 110 in Charles Town, WV.
  Buckles was born February 1, 1901. At 16 years old, he enlisted on Aug.
14, 1917, having fibbed to an Army recruiter about his age. He went through
basic training at Fort Riley, KS.
  Serving from the Army’s 1st Fort Riley Casual Detachment, he drove ambu-
lances and motorcycles near the frontlines, though he never saw combat.
Honorably discharged in 1919, Buckles continued to serve with the Seventh
Regiment of the New York National Guard from 1922 to 1923. During World
War II, Buckles was not in the military but he spent the majority of the con-
flict as a prisoner of war after being captured by the Japanese while working
in the shipping business. After the world wars, Buckles married moved to
Gap View Farm in Charles Town, West Virginia. His wife, Audrey, gave birth
to their daughter in 1955. A widower at age 98, he worked on his farm until
age 105.
  In his last years, he was the Honorary Chairman of the World War I Memo-
rial Foundation, campaigning to have the District of Columbia War Memori-
al renamed the National World War I Memorial. He was awarded the World
War I Victory Medal and the Army of Occupation of Germany Medal at the
conclusion of the First World War, as well as the French Legion of Honor in
his last years. At the time of his death, He was buried on March 15, 2011 at
Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
  When asked in February 2008 how it felt to be the last of his kind, he said
simply, “I realized that somebody had to be, and it was me.” When asked if
he would have done it all over again, he responded “without a doubt.”
The Voice e-Mag                                             Page 14                                                    April 2011
Membership Benefits
                                                                 Eye Med Vision Care
               TREA National                                     Group #9108713
               Headquarters                                      800-552-5367
               800-338-9337                                      http://portal.         866-228-0948
                                                          Source Code: BJFA-060
               TREA Legislative Office                                        
                                                                 TREA Career Center
               Membership Questions
                                                                 powered by MONSTER
                Homeowners and
                Auto Insurance
                Liberty Mutual Group
                Claims (24 hours):
                Customer Service:
                8 am - 11 pm (M-F)
                8 am - 6:30 pm (Sat)      
                Acct. Code #3647

                Auto Warranty

                    Car Rental
                    National (Group

                    TREA Checks
                    Ref # REA-M21

                                                              8 am to 4:30 pm
                                                              (Central)     Information   Premium/Billing           Claims
                                                   Cancer Protection
                                                   underwritten by
                                                   Monumental Life         800-808-4514    800-808-4515        800-808-4516
                                                   Dental Insurance
 TREA Home Benefits                                by United States Life   800-808-4514    800-808-4515        800-221-3480
 Mortgage/Real Estate/Moving                       Long Term Care
 866-577-2144                                      underwritten by GALIC   800-808-4514    800-921-9334        800-921-9334                   and Prudential Life     800-808-4514    800-732-0416        800-732-0416
                                                   Medicare Supplement
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                                                   Transamerica Life       800-247-1771    800-247-1771        800-854-0186
                                                   Sr Term and Term Life
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                                                   United States Life      800-808-4514    800-808-4515        800-808-4516
                        powered by Yahoo! Search   Tricare Prime and Standard Supplements
      Download     the   GoodSearch     toolbar,   underwritten by, and enter
      “Retired Enlisted Association” for your
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      search earns money for TREA!
      Also, shop, and a portion is returned to
      TREA as a rebate!

The Voice e-Mag                                                Page 15                                                April 2011
national Auxiliary
                                         TREA AUXILIARY MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FORM
                                               PO Box 91180, Washington DC 20090-1180
     Auxiliary        r    Yes, I want to join TREA Auxiliary          r Please renew my TREA Auxiliary Membership
 Board of Directors                                                                Member No: _____________________

     President        Name: _______________________________________________________________________
     Sandy Ott
                      DOB: ______________________ Telephone No.: ____________________________________
   Vice President
  Jolene O’Connell    Address: _____________________________________________________________________

  2 Year Director     City: ______________________________ State: _______________ Zip: _______________
    Doris Bryant
   Irmgard Cates      Spouse’s Name: ________________________      Spouse Member #: _________________
                      Widow/Widower r                      Chapter of Assignment: ____________________
  1 Year Director     Recruiter: _______________________________ Recruiter Member No.: ______________
  Jsephine McAfee     I understand that, with acceptance of my application, I will be covered by $1,000 Accidental Death and
                      Dismemberment Insurance and such other benefits as may become effective during my membership.
                               r 1 year - $15     r    2 years - $30     r    3 years - $45
    Sherry Eller

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                                             Make checks payable to TREA National Auxiliary
     Secretary                 Membership Inquiries   Benefits and Service     TREA Legislative Office
    Sylvia Curley              800-808-4517, X1010       800-808-4514             703-684-1981

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The Voice e-Mag                                            Page 16                                                February 2011

                                                         Recycle it and you'll help
                                                         Mother Nature and those in
                                                         need of emergency

 The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA) is partnering with to collect used cell phones on an
 on-going basis for the benefit of TREA programs. TREA will
 receive a monetary donation for each phone recycled.

 The phones can be recycled and sent to areas with economic
               necessity. Some phones are also refurbished
               and given to those who are in need of 911,
               emergency only, communications. "Cell phones contain
               many toxins and are very hazardous to our environ-
               ment and they should not end up in landfills."

 All cell phones, regardless of age or condition, will be accepted. Make
 certain to deactivate your phone and remove any personal informa-
 tion. to print out
 a postage-paid shipping label/packing slip, and a
 donation receipt.

 Go to for more information.

The Voice e-Mag                                Page 17                            April 2011
 VA Minority Veterans Panel
   VA Press Release - The Secretary of Veterans Affairs has announced the appointment of eight new members to VA’s Advi-
 sory Committee on Minority Veterans, an expert panel that advises him on issues involving minority veterans. “The new
 members of the Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans will bring their expertise to help guide VA’s efforts in serving
 minority Veterans,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “VA welcomes these new members.” Chartered on
 January 30, 1995, the committee makes recommendations for administrative and legislative changes. The committee mem-
 bers are appointed to one, two, or three-year terms. The eight new committee members include: Clara L. Adams-Ender,
 Woodbridge, Va.; Allie Braswell Jr., Orlando, Fla.; Amanda Heidenreiter, Ellicott City, Md.; Oscar B. Hilman, Tacoma, Wash.;
 Pedro Molina, Fresno, Calif., Wayne Nickens, Honolulu, Hawaii; Celia Renteria Szelwach, Arden, N.C., and Joseph Wynn,
 Washington, D.C. There are approximately 4.1 million minority Veterans in the United States, District of Columbia, Puerto
 Rico and territories. They comprise approximately nearly 15 percent of the total Veteran population today. Following is
 background on all panel members:
   * Clara L. Adams-Ender, Brigadier General (Retired), USA, is president and chief executive officer of Caring about Peo-
 ple with Enthusiasm (CAPE) Associates, Inc., a management consulting and inspirational speaking firm.
   * Allie Braswell Jr., USMC, serves as president and CEO of the Central Florida Urban League, and has held the position
 of senior manager of global strategies for diversity and inclusion at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
   * Amanda Heidenreiter, Captain (Ret.), USA, was deployed with 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg,
 N.C. She currently works a networking assistant in Paws for Purple Hearts.
   * Oscar B. Hilman, Brigadier General (Ret.), USA, served as commander of the 81st Brigade Combat Team in support of
 Iraqi Freedom II (2004-2005), where his brigade received two combat streamers. Pedro Molina, USA, is the first in the
 nation assistant secretary for Native American Veterans in the California Department of Veterans
   Affairs. He was appointed by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
   * Wayne Nickens, M.D., is founder and chief overseer of the Healing Community, consultant to Native Hawaiian Veterans,
 LLC in Hawaii, National Alaskan American Indian Nurses Association, the Comanche Nation, and the Cherokee elders.
   * Celia Renteria Szelwach, DBA, USA, provides project management and technical leadership of public health projects
 focused on rural, women, and minority Veterans as program manager for Atlas Research.
   * Joseph Wynn, USAF, executive director of the National Association for Black Veterans (NABVETS) National Capital
 Area, serves as their Legislative Liaison on Capitol Hill.
   * Shoshana N. Johnson, Specialist (Ret.), USA, was the first female POW of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the first black
 female POW in U.S. war history. James T. McLawhorn, Jr. is the president and chief executive officer of the Columbia Urban
 League in Columbia, S.C.
   * Benjamin C. Palacios, Command Sergeant Major, USA (Ret.), is assistant VP, regional account manager for the Guam
 and Commonwealth of North Mariana Islands region for Science Application International
   Corporation (SAIC).
   * Lupe G. Saldana, USMC, serves on the Executive Committee of the Veterans’ Entrepreneurship Task Force (VET-Force).

We are cleaning out the closets! The following items are ON SALE. Please order them on the Accessory Order form on the
next page. Limited to inventory on hand. All sales are final.
Item# Description                   Reg Price       Sale      Item# Description                 Reg Price      Sale
Price                                                         Price
4328 Sportsman Hat                     $13.00          $6.50          Men’s Watch                  $25.00      $20.00
4325 Fleece Headband                   $10.00          $5.00 4323 Red Mini Umbrella                $10.00       $5.00
4327 Microfiber Vest              $40.00/$42.00       $20.00 4333 Magnetic Auto Ribbon              $3.00       $1.50
        Sizes: Sm/Lg/1X/2X/3X                                 4334 Silicone Bracelet                $2.00       $1.00
4335 Vehicle Auto Medallion              $6.00         $3.00 4347 Neck Wallet                       $3.00       $1.00
4315 12” Vinyl Decal                     $6.00         $3.00 4348 Luggage Tag                       $2.50       $1.00
4350 Auto Windshield Shade             $20.00         $10.00 4308 Baseball Hats                    $12.00      $10.00
4339 Travel Mugs                       $12.00          $6.00          Colors: Blue Mesh/Blue & Natural/White
        Colors: Red/Blue                                      4308 Enzyme Wash Baseball Cap $10.00              $5.00
4340 Valet Key Chains                    $2.50         $1.00          Colors: White/Navy
        Colors: Red/Blue                                      4353 Auto Catch All                    8.00       $4.00
4310 Gold Money Clip                     $4.00         $3.00
The Voice e-Mag                                             Page 18                                                 April 2011
                                  TREA WEAR AND ACCESSORIES ORDER FORM
SHIRTS:                                                                  WINDBREAKER:
4341 Golf Shirt                                                          4302 White WIndbreaker                                 $65.00
         Sizes: Sm/Med/Lg/XL                                 $30.00                   Sizes: Sm/Med/Lg/XL/2XL/3XL/4X/5X
         Sizes: 2X/3X                                        $35.00      DECALS/BUMBER STICKERS:
         Colors: White/Stone                                             4315 3” Window Decal                                      $.50
4343     Golf Shirts (Two Tone Collar)                                   4305 Bumper Stickers                                     $1.00
         Sizes: Sm/Med/Lg/XL                                 $35.00                   4305A Army/4305N Navy/4305M Marines/
         Sizes: 2X/3X                                        $39.00                   4305AF Air Force/4305CG Coast Guard
         Colors: Khaki/Blue/Green/                                        MISC:
                    Gray/Burgundy                                         4330        JROTC Awards                              $11.50
4351     Camp Shirts                                                                  (Medal/Pin/Certificate/Cover)
         Sizes: Sm/Med/Lg/XL                                 $28.00       4312 Black Funeral Arm Band                             $6.00
         Sizes: 2X/3X                                        $30.00       PATCHES:
         Colors: White/Tan/Teal                                           4311RBL Red Bullion Batch                             $18.00
HATS:                                                                                 (Regular or Life Member)
4306     Overseas Cap Male                                   $21.00       4311TLP 3.5” TREA Logo Patch                            $2.50
         Sizes: 6-3/8 to 7-7/8                                            4311TLMP Life Member Patvh w/rocker)                    $3.50
4306A Overseas Cap Female                                    $21.00       4311AFP American Flag Patch                             $1.00
         Sizes: Sm/Med/Lg                                                 PINS:
         Please note TREA or Auxiliary                                    4309 Silver Chapter Board of Directors                  $5.00
Personalization $.60/letter (allow 4-6 weeks):                                        4309P President/43091VP 1st VP/43092VP 2nd VP/
                                                                                      43093VP 3rd VP/4309T Treasurer/4309TR Trustee/
__________________________________________________                                    4309D Director/4309S Secretary/4309PA Parliamentarian/
TIES:                                                                                 4309SAA Sgt-At-Arms/4309C Chaplain/
4307MT            Regular Mens Tie                           $11.00                   4309PP Past President
4307CMT           Clip On Mens Tie                           $11.00       4309        Lapel Pins                                  $5.00
4307XMT           Extra Long Mens Tie                        $12.00                   4309LPG Gold/4309LPW White/
4307LT            Ladies Tie                                 $10.00                   4309LMLP Gold Life Member
4313              Tie Tack                                    $2.75       4309        Retirement Pins                             $2.00
                  (with chain or without chain)                                       4309A Army/4309M Marines
                                                                                      4309N Navy/4309AF Air Force

Item #     Quantity                                  Description                                         Color         Size   Total Price

                                                 Bill My Credit Card:
SHIPPING COSTS:                                                                                     Order Total:      $_________________
$.50 - $20.00 = $5.60                            o    Visa    o   Mastercard      o    Discover
$20.01 - $60.00 = $8.50                                                                             Tax: (Colo add 8.1%) ________________
$60.01 - $100.00 = $12.50                        Card #:___________________________
$100.01 + = $12.50 + $2.50 per each                                                                 Shipping:          _________________
                         $10 over                Exp Date:_______ Amount: ___________
                                                                                                    Grand Total       $_________________
Mail completed orders to: TREA HQ, 1111          Name on Card: _____________________
S Abilene Ct, Aurora, CO 80012                                                                      Shipping Address:
Make checks payable to TREA                      Billing Address: ____________________              Name: ____________________________
Fax orders to: 888-882-0835/Phone order          _________________________________                  Address: __________________________
at 800-338-9337                                                                                     City, State, Zip:_____________________
                                                 Signature: _________________________               Telephone: ________________________
CHECK OUT OUR SALE ITEMS                                                                            Email: ____________________________
Securely online at - click on
“TREA Store” - pay with Paypal
The Voice e-Mag                                                         Page 19                                                   April 2011
  Membership Application
                         Prefer to join or renew online? Go to:

Membership Categories:
Regular Members - Any enlisted person, retired from an active or reserve component of the Armed Forces, either for length of
service or permanent medical disability shall be eligible for regular membership. A retired member advanced to commissioned
or Warrent Officer status, either through recall to active duty or on the retired list shall remain eligible for regular membership as
long as his/her dues are kept current. Active duty, Reserve and National Guard enlisted personnel with 10 or more years retire-
ment creditable service shall also be eligible, but membership (including life membership) shall be withdrawn if the person fails
to retire from the Armed Forces. The term “regular member” encompasses both charter and life members of TREA.
Associate Members - Widows/widowers of members and non-members, who were eligible for membership at the time of their
death, are eligible to join The Retired Enlisted Association as associate members. Associate members are not eligible for life mem-
bership. Associate members shall enjoy the privileges of regular membership, except the right to make motions, vote, or hold
£ Yes, I want to take advantage of the great benefits that TREA offers and be a member of an organization that is fighting
to protect the retirement benefits of all military enlisted retirees and active duty personnel of the Armed Forces.

Name: ________________________________________________________________ DOB: __________________________

Address: ______________________________________                City: ___________________ State: ______ Zip: ____________

Phone: (         )______________________________ Branch of Service: ___________________ Grade: ________________

Years of Service: ________ to ________ Date of Retirement: __________ VA Disability Rating, if applicable: __________

Email: ________________________________________________ TREA Chapter (if applicable): _____________________
Spouse Name: ________________________________________________
Recruiter (if applicable): _________________________________ Recruiter Member No:____________________________
        £ - 1 Year - $20          £ - 3 Years - $45                £ - Lifetime - $300*
        £ - *Lifetime, paid in 10 quarterly payments (attach first payment of $30)
        Member Type: £ Regular                    £ Associate      Renewal of Membership No.: _____________________
        Charge my dues to:       £ VISA £ Mastercard £ Discover
Card No.: ___________________________ Exp: ____________
        If paying by check, make checks payable to TREA.                                           Code TV0411
        Send completed application to: TREA, PO Box 98187, Washington DC 20090-8187

                         CHANGE OF ADDRESS/CHAPTER ASSIGNMENT                                             TREA Form 100-8 - 10/99

Name: ____________________________________________                       Member No: ____________________________________

Old Address: _______________________________________            New Address: ___________________________________
City, State, Zip: _____________________________________         City, State, Zip: __________________________________
Phone: (      )_______________________________________          Phone: (      ) ____________________________________
Email: ____________________________________________
Change of Assignment:
£ - Member-At-Large to Chapter # _____
£ - Chapter #_____ to Chapter # _____
£ - Chapter # _____ to Member-At-Large
                   Signature: _____________________________ Date: _________________

The Voice e-Mag                                                Page 20                                                       April 2011

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