Document Sample
					                   RETIREE NEWSLETTER
                           RANDOLPH AFB TX
       SPRING & SUMMER                                                               APRIL 2010

(210) 652-6880/5778   fax(210) 652-4804                           email
 Toll free 1-877-282-2441

  Background on Joint Basing
  • Joint Basing is a BRAC mandate to consolidate installation support functions at adjacent & nearby
  installations under one Military Service to optimize installation management
  • A total of 12 military locations will be affected by Joint Basing
  • Air Force has lead on six.. .Army has lead on two , and Navy has lead on four
  • The Air Force was directed to be the Executive Agent for this action in San Antonio
  Unlike the other ii Joint Base locations, San Antonio faces the challenge of having installations that are
  separated by 33 miles. Headquartered at Fort Sam Houston, Texas; the 8,000-person 502 ABW consolidates 49
  installation management support functions for a military community with an annual operating budget of over
  $850 million, a $10.9 billion plant replacement value, and encompasses more than 80,000 full time personnel,
  125,000 students, and a retiree community of over 250,000.
  The 502 ABW also supports in excess of $4.5 billion in directed Base Realignment and C1osure and other
  major projects. As the wing becomes fully operational, it will assume host-base responsibilities for Joint Base
  San Antonio, which includes Randolph Air Force Base, Lackland Air Force Base and Fort Sam Houston. The
  502nd Air Base Wing, headquartered at Fort Sam Houston is commanded by Air Force Brigadier General
  Leonard Patrick. On Randolph AFB, the 902nd Mission Support Group is commanded by Colonel Alan Lake .
  The RAO, for the time-being will be the 502 ABW/CVR Randolph.

     So what does this mean to retirees? Actually it is a transparent reorganization. The 12th Flying training Wing
  now has only Operations and Maintenance. All support functions are now grouped under the 902nd Mission
  Support Group. In conducting your usual business at Randolph AFB, you will notice no change in locations or

  Defense Biometric Identification System (DBIDS) This is an Air Force-wide initiative to enhance
  security for managing access to DOD installations. DBIDS uses scanning devices to verify your status as you
  enter the gate. All personnel, including retirees, dependents and visitors must register their DOD –authorized ID
  Cards at the Randolph Visitors Center, at the main gate, on Saturdays from noon until 4:00 PM, through the
  end of May. After that, it will be “Open Registration” daily. For up-dated information, contact the Visitors
  Center at 210-652-3939.

  myPAY Security Early in October 2009, DFAS sent an email notifying you of the coming security
  enhancements to the myPay system.Now that it has been implemented, you are required to establish a new log
  in and Password.
Requiring you to establish a new customized Login ID and strong Password gives you more protection and
increases the security of your personal information.
When logging into myPay the first time following implementation of these security enhancements, you will be
allowed to use your existing Login ID and PIN and then will be prompted to change your login credentials.
When the security release is implemented, an email will be sent to you with more detailed instructions. Specific
criteria for the new Login ID and Password have already been posted to the myPay Home Page under Hot
Questions regarding this myPay change may be directed to the Centralized Customer Support Unit toll free at 1-
888-DFAS411 or 1-888-332-7411, commercial (216) 522-5096, Defense Switching Network (DSN) 580-5096
(7:00 A.M - 6:30 P.M. / Eastern time).

Space-A travel an option for retirees
          SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFRNS) - Retirees who dream of climbing an Egyptian pyramid,
schussing down a black diamond ski slope in Bavaria, or walking on a Hawaiian beach can make these dreams
come true with space-available travel. Typically, these dreams require a lot of money; however, Space-A travel
is free with the exception of customs or federal inspection fees on some chartered commercial air service
 Air Mobility Command aircraft fly all over the globe and often have open
passenger seats available. An AMC aircraft takes off every 90 seconds.
More than 130,000 Space-A travelers take advantage of this military
benefit each year.
  Retired Airmen with a retiree ID card and who are eligible to receive
retired or retainer pay, fly as Category VI passengers. Since missions can be rerouted, delayed or cancelled for a
variety of reasons --weather, maintenance issues or higher priority missions - retirees need to be flexible. They
need to plan for any potential delays and added expenses for stays, especially in high-cost areas.
  There are four different methods for signing up for Space-A travel: in person at the passenger terminal or
remotely via telephone, fax or e-mail. Sponsors must provide their name and information on all
traveling dependents, and their desired destination(s).
  Retirees can also use the DOD-chartered airlift missions for Space-A travel, if seats are available. Although
retirees cannot visit their grandchildren in Iraq or Afghanistan, they can travel to Germany if the
aircraft transitions there.
   Traveling overseas, retirees should know the restrictions of the host country. For example, retirees traveling
to Germany are not authorized to purchase items in the Base Exchange, but they can go off base and shop in the
local community. Status of Forces Agreements restrictions, U.S. State Department Travel Advisory guidelines,
the Foreign Clearance Guide and passport and visa requirements are all necessary items to research.
 For more information on Space-A travel, visit the AMC travel Web site at
<> .

Retiree eye exams allowed every two years
 FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AFRNS) -- Maintaining healthy eyes and vision is an
important part of personal safety and quality of life, say Tricare
officials, and getting an eye exam is a smart idea for anyone, whether
or not they have vision problems Retirees and their family members using Tricare Prime can get an eye
exam every two years. Routine eye exams for retirees and their family members using Tricare Standard and
Extra, and Tricare for Life are not covered.
   These exams are more than the standard letter charts and include a check
into the health of the eye. Retirees and their families enrolled in
Tricare Prime can make an appointment with any Tricare-authorized
optometrist or ophthalmologist for an exam. Tricare Prime beneficiaries
do not need a referral unless they see a provider outside of their
region's Tricare network.
   All retirees, even Tricare for Life recipients, may receive one pair of                              2
standard issue glasses each year from the Naval Ophthalmic Support and
Training Activity. Visit the NOSTRA Web site at
<> and select the
"How to Order: Retirees" link for more information. Family members and
surviving spouses are not entitled to NOSTRA support.

     Retirees, families welcome to join FitFamily program
      RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFRNS) - Air Force Services Agency
      officials invite military retirees, certain disabled vets, and their
      families to join the FitFamily program as part of the Year of the Air
Force Family. FitFamily is a goal-incentive program open to all retirees, honorably
discharged veterans with a 100-percent service-connected disability
rating, surviving military spouses, and their family members.
  Within the first week of the launch of FitFamily, more than 2,000
families have signed up for the program at
<> , said Air Force
Services Agency officials.
   FitFamily empowers families to take charge of their lifestyles and make
healthier choices. The program offers innovative ideas, resources and
activities for Air Force families to improve their family's healthy and
fitness habits.
  With nearly one-third of all children in the United States overweight or
obese, the Air Force is taking action by introducing small changes that
can make big improvements in a family's overall wellness.
   The site encourages parents and children together to take ownership of
their health. While the emphasis of FitFamily is on family fun,
resources on the site include information on good nutrition, healthy
recipes, sports and fitness, games, educational projects and fitness
  The site includes an interactive program for tracking a family's
fitness progress. Called My Goal Tracker, this tool allows the family to
establish goals, share in activities and monitor their development.
   My Goal Tracker introduces various activities, each assigned with a
point value. As that activity is completed, the family records their
points on the tracking form. There are five levels of point achievement,
each with its own reward.
   The site is continuously updated with new information designed to help
families build healthier habits together.

TEXAS VETERAN TUITION The Hazelwood Act provides qualified veterans, spouses, and                        children
with an education benefit of up to 150 hours of tuition and fee exemptions at state supported colleges or
universities. Effective with the fall 2009 term/semester, in order to be eligible to receive a Hazelwood Act
Exemption, a veteran must:

• Have been a Texas resident upon entry into the military, entered the service in the State of Texas, or declared
Texas as his or her home of record;
• Have a military discharge or honorable or general, under honorable conditions;
• Served at least 1 81 days of active duty service (excluding training);
• NotbeindcaultonaneducationloanmadeorguarantccdbytheStateofTexasandnatindcfault on a federal loan if that
default is the reason the student cannot use his or her federal veterans' benefits.                               3
For Additional information and requirements refer to Hazelwood Act: Frequently Asked Questions at
httjri/ 2009.pdr. The awards are available only
for use at a Texas public college or university. To access listings of Texas public colleges and universities, refer
to the Texas Institutions of Higher Education site
http://collegeforalltexans.comIindex.cfm?ObjectlD-D57DOACs-AB2D-EFBO? FC201 080B528442A and
select any of the schools listed under the Texas Public Institutions. Note that the schools listed wider
Independent Institutions do not qualify for Hazelwood Exemptions. Effective 19 JUN 09 Senate Bill 93 of the
81st Texas Legislative authorizcd new provisions which remove certain residency restrictions, extend eligibility
to spouses, and permit eligible veterans to assign their unused hours to their child. These new provisions are
known as the "Hazelwood Legacy Act". To be eligible, the child must:
• Be a Texas resident,
• Be the biological child, stepchild, adopted child, or claimed as a dependent in the current or previous tax year,
• Be 25 years or younger on the first day or the semester or term for which the exemption is claimed (unless
granted an extension due to a qualifying illness or debilitating condition), and
• Make satisfactory academic progress in a degree, certificate, or continuing education program as determined
by the institution.
• If a child to whom hours have been delegated fails to use all of the assigned hours, a veteran may re-assign the
unused hours that are available to another dependent child.

    Eligible veterans, their children and spouses may receive an exemption from the payment of all tuition,
dues, fees, and other required charges, including fees for correspondence courses, but excluding deposit fees,
student service fees, and any fees or charges for books, lodging, board, or clothing for up to 150 semester credit
hours. Funds may be used to pay tuition for continuing education classes for which the college receives no state
tax support only if the 8ovemning board has approved this benefit. To use Hazelwood benefits or to transfer
unused benefits to an eligible child, applicants must

VA Places Stay on Adjudication or Claims for New Agent Orange Presumptive
Until Regulations are Finalized
On October 13, 2009, the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced his decision to
establish presumption of service connection for three additional illnesses (Parkinson’s disease, ischemic heart
disease, and B cell leukemia) associated with Agent Orange/herbicide exposure in Vietnam. On October 30,
2009, VA issued instructions, effective immediately, directing its regional offices to stay the adjudication of all
claims seeking presumptive service connection for all B cell leukemia, Parkinson's disease and/or ischemic
heart disease until final regulations are published in the Federal Register.
Service officers should file presumptive claims now for these conditions without waiting for the completion of
the regulation process. Additionally, VA will not automatically reopen a previously denied and final claim, so
American Legion service officers are advised to review the files of veterans whose claims for such conditions
have been finally denied and proceed with procedures to reopen these claims. Presumptive claims for these
conditions that have been denied, but the denial is not yet final, should be brought to the attention of VA
adjudication personnel for identification and action consistent with the current stay.

 It is important to note that this stay only applies to the adjudication of claims, for the aforementioned
conditions, based on Agent Orange/herbicide presumption and not claims where the evidence warrants the grant
of service condition on a direct basis. Therefore, service officers should keep tabs on presently open claims, in
which evidence has been presented that would enable the claim to be granted on a direct basis, to ensure that
such claims are not erroneously placed in the stay.

      Building 399 is undergoing extensive renovation on the first and second floors. This causes the temporary
relocation of some offices. The Customer Service function (ID Cards) is located in the 1st floor conference
room, but will return to their original location after the renovation is complete. Finance will permanently
relocate to the second floor, just to the right, as you exit the elevator (room numbers not yet assigned). The
RAO will relocate from the basement to an office on the first floor, just beyond the rest rooms (Numbers not yet
assigned). This move will probably occur in May, depending on construction. All phone numbers and FAX will
remain the same. Remember, the RAO now has a toll-free number for you folks outside the 210 area code. That
number is 1-877-282-2441.This will make it easier and cheaper to contact us.

     CLINIC Updates
               The Air Force has spent $10 million on reconstruction to make the clinic brighter, easier to
       navigate and more patient- friendly. More space and seating added in waiting areas, walls are painted in
       brighter colors and added brighter floor and ceiling colors. Parking lots have been repaved and have
       added 66 new parking spaces. There is also new, easier-to-read sinage, and soon a “Coffee Bar” will be
       situated in the main entry area.
          A change in pharmacy services involves prescription processing. Only internal Clinic prescriptions
       will be handled in the Clinic. All other new prescriptions and refills will be handled at the Satellite
       Pharmacy located in the new BX

      Randolph AAFES Shopping Center ( Formerly the BX)
       The new BX Shopping Center is now open at their location across the street from the “BXtra” on 3rd
Street West (easy access through the West Gate). You will find a wide assortment of new and the usual services
such as: Clothing Sales, Barber Shop, Enterprise Car Rental, The Phone Doctor, Popeyes Chicken, Manchu
WOK, Anthony’s Pizza, Charley’s Grilled Subs, Robin Hood Sandwich Shop and Starbucks Coffee. Check it

                     Senior Defensive Driving

        The “55ALIVE” Seniors Defensive Driving Course was shortened to four (4) hours in length and will
     be given in a single day. The fee is $12 per person for AARP members and $14 for non-members. The
     10% auto collision insurance discount still applies. Be advised, this course does not forgive traffic
     violations but saves some serious bucks for drivers. Future class dates are: Thursday, April 22nd @ 1230;
     Thursday, June 24th @ 1230; Thursday, August 12th @ 1230 and Thursday, October 14th @1230.
    VEHICLE REGISTRATION : The USAF Vehicle Registration Program has been eliminated. If you wish
 to register your vehicle at Fort Sam, we have maps and information on location and operating hours of the
 Vehicle Registration Office .

Director’s Comments:
    I think most of us get a thrill observing the precision and professionalism exhibited by our active - duty
  troops during the various official ceremonies that occur frequently here at Randolph AFB. And, I almost
  enjoy the singing of the “Air Force Song”. I say almost because usually we are hearing about ten or
  fifteen, different versions on the words, simultaneously. In the interest of harmony, here are the correct

                                        AIR FORCE SONG

                               Off we go into the wild blue yonder
                                   Climbing high into the sun
                         Here they come zooming to meet our thunder
                         At ‘em boys give ‘er the gun (give ‘er the gun)
                         Down we dive, spouting our flame from under
                                   Off with one helluva roar!
                          We live in fame or go down in flame. Hey!
                              Nothing’ll stop the the US Air Force

                             Sing it loud and proud!

                                            Jim Scarff,
                                            Director, Retiree Activities Office

                                                Houston Pages

Contact information for MSgt Tommy Green (RET) Cell: (281) 772-1827. Email:

                    Military ID Cards in the Greater Houston Area

    The 147th Reconnaissance Wing and the Texas Air National Guard wants to be helpful to you and your
  dependent(s) in receiving ID cards and DEER customer service. Due to high demand, these services are by
                                            appointment only

                        Issuance of ID Cards and DEERS Enrollments
                 147th Recon Wing Members ON DUTY have priority over appointments.
                         Appointments can be made by calling: (281) 929-2860
                ID CARD HOURS: TUE through Thursday: 0800-1100 and 1300-1500
 Active duty CAC cards, retired and dependent cards can all be made at the following locations in the Greater
                                               Houston area.
                                 Army and Navy Centers Houston
                 Texas National Guard Armory at 15150 Westheimer Parkway, Houston,TX 281-558-1742,
                 ext. 6620 . Suggest you call first to ascertain that someone is on duty.
                  Air Force Welcome Center, Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX (210) 671-4178
                  Air Force Welcome Center, Randolph AFB, San Antonio, TX (210) 652-1845
                US Army, Fort Hood, TX (254) 287-2518
There have been a few changes to where and when retirees and their dependents can obtain or renew their ID
cards in the Houston area. The Navy and Army sites have closed ID operations and have deferred all business to
Ellington Field.

The new ID card office in Ellington is located in Bldg. 1056. The business days and hours are Tuesday through
Friday, 0730 to 1200. If Monday is a holiday, the office will be closed the Friday before. They now have three
machines so the wait will not be as long as was previously reported.
The new number is (281) 929-2860. The fax number is (281) 929-2247. When you call, you will hear a lengthy
recording outlining the paperwork and/or information you will need to conduct your transaction..
From the Houston Military Affairs Committee:
The Government, in order to stay a final ruling, negotiated a deal in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims - the
result will provide disability retired pay and family TRICARE coverage, at least temporarily, for thousands of
veterans previously separated from service after suffering PTSD.

The arrangement stems from a class action lawsuit brought by the National Veterans Legal Services Program
(NVLSP). The NVLSP, representing seven veterans, claimed that the veterans' Military Service Physical
Evaluation Board (PEB) violated their legal rights, by assigning a disability rating for PTSD below the
minimum 50% as required by the Veterans Administration Schedule of Rating Disabilities (VASRD).

The seven veterans have asked the Court to order the military services to give them all of the military retirement
benefits to which a veteran with at least a 50% PTSD rating would be entitled.
According to the NVLSP, the federal court has allowed the lawsuit to be a class action suit on behalf of the
following individuals:                                                                                     7
All individuals who (a) served on active duty in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Air Force; (b) were
found by a Physical Evaluation Board to be unfit for continued service due, at least in part, to the individual's
PTSD; (c) were assigned a disability rating for PTSD of less than 50%; and, as a result, (d) were released,
separated, retired, or discharged from active duty after December 17, 2002, and prior to October 14, 2008
(regardless whether such release, separation, retirement, or discharge resulted in the individual's placement on
the Temporary Disability Retirement List).

There are over 4,300 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans diagnosed with PTSD who could potentially be eligible
for increased benefits. NVLSP is in the process of mailing to these veterans "opt-in" forms.

For those who "opt-in" to the class action suit, the military services agreed to prioritize applications to the
records corrections boards requesting an increase of their PTSD ratings. In most cases, any such correction will
be effective retroactively to the date of the action taken on the report of the Military Service PEB.

Veterans who choose to opt-in have until July 24, 2010 to return their form by either fax or postmark. The
lawyers involved with the lawsuit have agreed not to charge any service fees to veterans who agree to join the

Veterans who feel they may be eligible and have not received a notice can find more information at

The seminar will take place at DeVry University, 11125 Equity Drive, Houston (Campus is located on W. Sam
Houston Pkwy between Clay and Tanner) commencing with registration at 9:30 AM.
   The seminar is hosted by the Texas Veterans Land Board and DeVry University. The featured organizations
are the Texas Veterans Land Board, Texas Veterans Commission, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Harris
County Veterans Service Office. The topics include low-interest housing loans, low-interest land loans, low-
interest home improvement loans, Texas State Veterans Homes, and Texas State Veterans Cemeteries.
   For more information please contact Rosa Zurbriggen with DeVry University at 281-408-6047 or Mike
McReaken at the Texas Veterans Land Board at 713-383-2729.

The VA Star
The VA Star is a free publication, produced every other month, focusing on news and information about veterans’
health care in southeast Texas. Past issues can be found on the Web at

                                 The Austin Area Pages – Spring/Summer 2010
        Information directed toward the unique informational needs of military retirees in the Austin area.
                    Compiled at the Retiree Activities Office (RAO) on Camp Mabry, Austin

From the Director: Security plays an important part in our everyday lives in this time of unexpected domestic
attacks. With this in mind we must be ready for changes in what were once our daily routines. As this
newsletter is written, Air Force is implementing a new base-entry system that uses scanning devices to manage
access. Retirees, survivors and their family members will have to register their ID cards at AF installations to
obtain access. An article in the Randolph portion of this newsletter has explained the program as it applies to
the San Antonio bases. Keep in mind that the end result of the process is better security.


Regional TRICARE Contract Extended Contract                    We’ll Match It! Program at Base Exchange In
extensions issued by TRICARE Management                        addition to the tax-free shopping that military
Activity (TMA) mean TRICARE beneficiaries here                 Families enjoy, AAFES has two additional cost-
won’t need to learn new phone numbers and Web                  cutting measures that can really make the pennies
sites any time soon. Current regional health care              add up.
contractor, Humana Military Healthcare Services,                   Market Price Coordinators conduct periodic
will continue to provide services to beneficiaries in          checks at local convenience and big box stores,
our area until March 31, 2011 according to a                   comparing AAFES’ prices on key items. This
TRICARE email.                                                 information allows for pre-tax shelf prices to be set
        The transition to new regional contracts,              at a comparable, if not lower price, than the
known as “T-3,” was initially slated for completion            competition.
by April 1, but formal protests filed with the                     In addition, a We’ll Match It! program is a last
Government Accountability Office (GAO) by two                  line of defense to deliver the lowest price to BX
of the current contractors put transition activities on        customers. If a shopper sees a competing price
hold. The GAO subsequently sustained both                      differential of less than $10 they can simply tell the
protests. TMA is reevaluating the awards and                   cashier who will match it on the spot. Anyone who
considering options as recommended by the GAO.                 reports a price difference of $10 dollars or more
        “Our regional contracts provide critical               need only bring a current local competitor’s ad to
health, medical and administrative support services            receive the reduced price.
to our 9.6 million TRICARE beneficiaries,” said
TMA Deputy Director Rear Adm. Christine Hunter.
“Extensions to our current contracts will allow time                       Support Your Local Exchange
for transition to the T-3 contracts, while ensuring
beneficiaries continue to receive high-quality care                      Camp Mabry Exchange             Bldg. 58
and outstanding customer service.”                              PX (512) 782-5120 Mon 1000-1800/ Tues thru Sat
    TRICARE for Life beneficiaries are not                                 0900-1800/ Sun 1100-1800
                                                               Food Service (512) 467-0050 Mon thru Sat 1000-1400
affected by the new contract. Wisconsin Physicians
                                                                                   / Sun Closed
Service (WPS) remains the contractor for TRICARE               Barber Shop (512) 419-1224 Mon 1000-1700/ Tue thru
for Life, and their services to beneficiaries are                         Sat 0930-1700/ Sun 1100-1600
unchanged.                                                     Texas Pride Gifts (512) 458-8897 Mon thru Sat 1000-
                                                                               1800/ Sun 1100-1600
                                                                                                                As of 01/29/2010
          HUMANA Military Healthcare Services
                 9101 Burnet Road
                                                               The information on this page is directed toward Retirees in the
                     Suite 104
                                                               Austin Area. Although it may sometimes be appropriate for
                 Austin, TX 78758
                                                               other retirees, some of the information may not apply unless
                  (800) 444-5445
                                                               you live in the Austin Area.

Improved Security Changes for myPay Users The                   office on Camp Mabry in Bldg. 34, Room
Defense Finance Accounting Service (DFAS) has           103. For San Antonio, the site shows ten ID card
implemented new myPay access requirements to            centers.
increase the security of user information.                      This newsletter always has a box showing
    If you use your social security number (SSN) as     the local ID card centers.
your login ID, you must create a new login ID. You             Q. When should I get a new ID card?
will also be prompted to create a new password.                A. The simple answer is when your present
    DFAS asks that if you are logging into myPay        card expires. That date is on the card. Family
for the first time since Dec. 10, 2009, use your        members will have an actual date. Sponsors cards
existing login ID and PIN. You will then be             are INDEFINITE. Other times for obtaining new
prompted to create a new login ID and password.         ID cards include addition of new family members
    Additional instructions and help are available at   (marriage, adoption etc.), sponsor’s death, loss of
the site.                                               the card. Before renewing an ID card, phone or
    MyPay can be used to view and sometimes             visit the ID card center to find out what
change a variety of retiree pay records and             documentation you will need.
                                                            Q.    When will Social Security numbers be
   Austin-Area Congressional Representatives            removed from ID cards?
                                                            A. Presently, only the family members Social
District 10…………….……Hon. Michael McCaul                  Security number will be removed from new and
Austin Phone:…………... (512) 473 2357 fax 0514            renewed ID cards at their request. Sponsors’
District 21…………...………Hon. Lamar S. Smith                numbers will still be on the cards.
Austin Phone…….………(512) 306-0439 fax 0427
District 25…………………..…Hon. Lloyd Doggett                                      ID Cards
Austin Phone...….(512) 916-5921 1-866-916-5921                        Bldg. 34 Camp Mabry
District 31……………………….Hon. John Carter                                    8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Round Rock Phone………...……...(512) 246-1600                              Monday thru Friday
                                                                     Phone: (512) 782 – 6841
                     Senators                           (Will issue Army base decals – call before coming}
Sen. John Cornyn
Austin Phone……….……(512) 469-6034 fax 6020                               Naval Reserve Center
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison                                                4601 Fairview Drive
Austin Phone………….…(512) 916-5834 fax 5839                                   9 a.m.-11 a.m.
                                                                        Phone: (512) 458-4154
Additional information on Representatives and                           Tuesday and Thursday
Senators, including e-mail contacts, can be found
at and at
respectively.                                           Everyone Saves with Generic Drugs Ever hear of
                                                        omeprazole, zolpidem, or cetirizine? These popular
        ID Card Questions and Answers A search          generic drugs treat gastrointestinal problems,
of the last six months of entries in the RAO daily      insomnia and allergies and are also available under
log shows subjects for which some retirees and          familiar brand names. According to a recent news
family members asked assistance. By far the largest     release from TRICARE, while generic drugs are not
number of queries both by phone and walk-in             advertised on television or in magazines, they
concern ID Cards. A few questions and answers:          provide the same benefits as their brand-name
                                                        counterparts at a lower price for TRICARE
        Q. Where can I obtain a new ID card for         beneficiaries   and    the    government      alike.
myself/family member?
        A. ID cards are issued by ID card centers
                                                        The information on this page is directed toward Retirees in the
nation-wide. A list of centers for any city can be      Austin Area. Although it may sometimes be appropriate for
obtained at This         other retirees, some of the information may not apply unless
is the RAPIDS site locator and for Austin shows the     you live in the Austin Area.

 Because of the safety, efficacy and cost-savings        Replacing Lost AF Documents Retirees may obtain
provided by generic drugs, it is Department of           missing documents, using Standard Form (SF) 180,
Defense policy that all TRICARE beneficiary              available at the Mabry RAO office. The most
prescriptions are filled using generic equivalent        common record asked for is DOD Form 214, but
medication               when               available.   other service and medical records can be obtained.
          The U.S. Food and Drug Administration          The request is mailed to:
reviews and approves all generic drugs and holds                          NPRC/NCPMF-C,
them to the same standards as brand-name drugs.                           9700 Page Avenue,
Generic drugs are required to have the same active                    St Louis MO 63132-5000.
ingredients, strength, dosage and uses as brand              Another source for obtaining records is the Natl.
name drugs. The medications usually look different       Archive website:
because their inactive ingredients differ, but those
features do not affect the safety or effectiveness of
generic                                  medications.                     How to Contact DFAS
          Generic drugs save American consumers
billions of dollars each year, according to the                             Military Retired Pay
Congressional Budget Office. Prescription costs for                        By MyPay Web Site:
TRICARE beneficiaries are based on the type of           
drug and where the prescription is being filled, with
generic always being the least expensive drug                                  By Mail:
option. For example, a 90-day supply of a generic              Defense Finance and Accounting Service
drug through TRICARE Home Delivery has just a                 U.S. Military Retirement Pay, PO Box 7130
$3 co-payment, while a brand-name drug has a $9                         London, KY 40742-7130
co-payment. At a network pharmacy, the co-                                    By Phone:
payments are the same $3 for generic and $9 for                1-800-321-1080 or fax 1-800-982-8459
brand name, but that’s only for a 30-day supply.                             Military Annuitant
         Generic drugs do not cost less because they
                                                                              By Mail:
are of lesser quality. When brand-name drugs make
                                                              Defense Finance and Accounting Service
their appearance on the market, their formula is
                                                              U.S. Military Annuitant Pay, PO Box 7131
under a patent. When that patent period is over
                                                                       London, KY 40742-7131
generic versions emerge at a lower price, partially
                                                                              By Phone:
because        they     are       not      advertised.
                                                               1-800-321-1080 or fax 1-800-982-8459
         Though it’s DoD policy that all prescriptions
are filled using the generic equivalent medication if       Notify the DFAS immediately after a change of
available, brand-name drugs can be covered in                   address for your retired pay or annuity
matters of medical necessity with prior approval.
One example would be an allergy to a generic             Afterthought from the Hanscom AFB Retiree
drug’s inactive ingredients. In cases where a generic    Newsletter: A military retiree in his early fifties started a
equivalent does not exist, the brand-name drug is        second career. He couldn’t seem to get to work on time
dispensed for the brand-name co-payment.                 and every day he was 10 or 15 minutes late but
                                                         otherwise he was a good worker and valued employee.
                                                         His boss was in a quandary about how to deal with it but
                                                         called him in one day for a talk. He said, "You do a
  How to Contact the AF RAO at Camp Mabry                bang-up job but you come in late every day. I know you
           Telephone: 512 782-6859                       retired from the Air Force. What did they say when you
              10 a.m. - 1 p.m. W-F                       came in late?” He answered, ---“Good Morning.
  Walk-In - Southeast Corner Inside PX Bldg.             General.”
             Retiree Activities Office
          HQ TX ANG Camp Mabry                           The information on this page is directed toward Retirees in the
            2211 W. 35th St. Bldg. 58                    Austin Area. Although it may sometimes be appropriate for
                                                         other retirees, some of the information may not apply unless
                Austin, TX 78703                         you live in the Austin Area.
               Volunteers Needed
          Useful Phone Numbers

                                        (VA Cont)                                                     (210) 652-3633
       Information Operators            Health Care Program
Brooke AMC           (210) 916-4141           1-877-222-VETS/8387                      Wilford Hall (SAMMC-S)
Camp Mabry           (512) 782-5001                                                        DSN 554-XXXX
Fort Hood            (254) 287-1110     Headstone and Marker Status             Information            (210) 292-7100
Fort Sam Houston     (210) 221-1211                           1-800-697-6947    Refill Pharmacy        (210) 292-7000
Kelly/Lackland AFB (210) 925-1110       Life Insurance Info                                           1-800-469-7170
Lackland AFB         (210) 671-1110                           1-800-669-8477
Randolph AFB         (210) 652-1110     Retro Program         1-877-327-4457                 Fort Hood
Wilford Hall        (210) 292-7100      TDD                   1-800-829-4833            DSN 737/738-XXXX
                                              Texas Veterans Commission         Casualty Assistance (254) 287-7200
            Camp Mabry
                                         Counselors                             Commissary
Billeting                    782-6841
                                         Austin           389-6543/463-5538      Clear Creek         (254) 287-5943
Camp Mabry Exchange          782-5120
                                         Cedar Park      260-1368 Ex 58022       Warrior Way         (254) 287-8025
 Food Service                467-0050
                                        Travis County Veterans Service Off.     Exchange info       (254) 532-6537
ID Cards:
                                                                    854-9340     Main Exch          (254) 532-7200
  Natl.Guard                 782-6841
                                                        AARP                     New PX Facility    (254) 532-8100
  Naval Reserve              458-4154
                                        Austin Office               480-9797    ID Cards            (254) 287-2518
Legal                        782-5057
                                                                                Legal                (254) 287-7901
Museum                       782-5659
                                        Brooke Army Med. Cr. (SAMMC-N)          Retirement Serv.     (254) 287-5210
Retiree Activities Office (RAO)
                                                 DSN 421-XXXX                       1-800-403-6640
                                        Appts.              (210) 916-9900      Soldier Locator      (254) 287-1110
Dental Insurance       1-888-838-8737
                                        Pharmacy           (210) 916- 1536       Darnall Army Community Hospital
Express Scripts        1-866-363-8779
                                        Refills             (210) 295-8700                 DSN 738-XXXX
                                                          1-800-771-3455        Appts.                1-800-305-6421
Pharmacy Help          1-877-363-6337
                                                Fort Sam Houston                     (254) 288-8888
                                                 DSN 471-XXXX                      Cancel Appt.        (254) 288-8911
                                        Commissary          (210) 221-4678      Health Benefits Advisor
                                        Legal                (210) 221-2353                        (254) 288-8155
TRICARE Service Center
                                        Main Exch.          (210) 225-5566      Information           (254) 288-8000
                                                                                Patient Assistance      (254) 288-8156
Audio Health Library
                                                   Kelly/Lackland               Pharmacy               (254) 288-8801
                                                  DSN 945-XXXX                     Refill             1-800-351-3636
                                        Passenger Terminal Flight                                      (254) 288-8802
Help Line          1-800-MEDICARE
                                        Recording (Space A) (210) 925-8715
                       1-800-633-4227                                                        Lodging
Natl. Cancer Institute                                                          AF Lodging      1-888-AF LODGE
                                                  Lackland AFB
                       1-800-422-6237                                                               1-888-235-6343
                                                 DSN 473-XXXX
Social Security Admin.                                                          Army lodging   1-800-GO-ARMY-1
                                        Commissary          (210) 671-2837
1029 Camino La Costa                                                                                1-800-462-7691
                                        Legal               (210) 671-3361
          206-3700 1-800-772-1213                                               Navy lodging     1-800-NAVY INN
                                        Main Exchange       (210) 674-6465
                 DoD                                                                                1-800-628-9466
DEERS Update           1-800-538-9552                                           Armed Forces Vacation Club
                                                   Randolph AFB
   Defense Finance & Accounting                   DSN 487-XXXX
               Service                  AF Retiree News     1-800-558-1404
Retired & Annuity Pay                   Commissary           (210) 652-5102
 Contact Center       1-800-321-1080    ID Card             (210) 652-1845
Death Notif.          1-800-269-5170    Legal               (210) 652-6781
Coast Guard - Retiree &                 Main Exch.          (210) 658-7471
 Annuitant            1-800-772-8724    Pharmacy             (210) 652-4127
                                        RAO                 (210) 652-6880
        Veterans Affairs (VA)
Austin Outpatient Clinic    389-1010
                                            AF Personnel Center (AFPC)
Cedar Park CBOC             260-1368                                            Some of these phone numbers may not
                                                  DSN 665-XXXX
Benefit Counselor     1-800-827-1000                                             be applicable for persons outside of
                                        Casualty Reporting     (210) 652-2104
CHAMPVA               1-800-733-8387                                              the Austin area. Send corrections,
Grave Info.           1-800-827-1000                                                comments, to: gclark5@austin
                                        Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)