VFW Post 10295
Bowling Green, Virginia
Vol. 5, No. 8 “Serving Our Community With Pride” February 2009
From the Quartermaster
Congressional Budget Options
Affecting Military, Retirees
The following summarizes the budget options presented by the Con-
gressional Budget Office that affect Military and Veteran's Health
They are OPTIONS only, and the ones affecting active duty military
and retires are only 7 out of 115 total options. That doesn’t mean
that they would not be considered. None of these options have been
addressed in any legislation as of yet. Here are the options:
Options 28, 29, 48 and 98 relate to VA healthcare. Option 28
would end group 7 and 8 enrollment in the VA. Groups 7 and 8 are
non-service related disabilities and their income exceeds a means
Option 29 would reopen group 8 enrollments and save Medicare/
Option 48 would support the development of a standard Medical
Care IT system and improve efficiency.
Option 95 would require cost sharing for active duty military family
members. At the Post
Option 96 would increase out-of-pocket costs for TRICARE for
Life (TCL) enrollees.
Doors Open at 6
Option 97 would increase out-of-pocket costs for regular TRICARE
Games Start at 7
enrollees, those not yet using TCL. Admission: $15
Option 98 would require higher co-payments for VA treatment of
non-service related disabilities.
Back in 1968, when I joined the Navy, the family of active duty per-
sonnel had no-cost medical benefits. The only stipulation was they
had to go to a military medical facility. Next Meeting
You only went to a “civilian” care giver if the military could not pro-
vide the services you required. Retirees and their families could go Tuesday, Feb. 10
to the military clinics but on a space-available basis.
At that time base pay for an E-3 was $80 a month while an equiva-
lent civilian worker would earn $400. Medical and commissary
Continued on Page 2
@ the Post
VFW Post 10295 February 2009 Page 2
Congressional Budget Options
are referred to the local civilian hospitals.
After 24 years, I feel that I earned the right to have no-cost
From Page 1 medical benefits for life. It is a promise the government
made when I enlisted and it is a promise it should be kept.
privileges were a significant benefit and went a long way I don’t mind small co-pays I have now because I can af-
toward offsetting the difference in salaries. ford them; $9 a month for a prescription and $12 every six
Medical clinics were often crowded and you waited in long months for a doctor’s visit.
lines and a trip to the clinic was an all day affair. However, I am only 60, work full-time, I get a retirement
Then DoD complained about the rising cost of taking care check, and my only medication is a blood pressure medi-
of family members and retirees and said it couldn’t afford cation. But what will happen when I retire from my pre-
to build more clinics and hire more medical staff. So they sent job and my income is cut in half, the number of pre-
started handing out more non-availability certificates to scriptions jumps to six, and I see a doctor or specialist
family members and retirees so they could see civilian doc- every month?
tors. If the government continues to increase our out-of-pocket
Then CHAMPUS came along, which gave all family mem- medical expenses, fixed income retirees will be forced to
bers and retirees access to civilian medical seek medical care back on base. But when they get there
care without being referred by a military care giver. This they will find empty buildings, or will be turned down be-
saved DoD from having to build more clinics and hospitals cause of the lack of personnel and money.
and reduced the crowding in the existing clinics.
Now is the time to let your Congressmen know your con-
Eventually even active duty members were able to go to cerns.
civilian doctors without being referred and the clinics found
themselves almost empty.
Today, with TRICARE and TRICARE for Life (which re- Nominations Wanted
placed CHAMPUS), the only people using medical facili-
ties on military installations are the young, single, military Elections of the Post’s officers are com-
members living on base. Now DoD had a surplus of medi- ing up, so we need nominations from the
cal facilities and staff with little to do and is finding it hard membership. If you have anyone in mind
to justify keeping them. to fill a Post officer’s slot, please call
I live near Fort A.P. Hill and cannot go to its clinic. The 804-690-7348 or send your nomination to
clinic is staffed by civilian contractors, and they only treat email@example.com. Your input
members of the military units training there. All emergen- is needed and appreciated.
cies are handled by the Bowling Green rescue squad, and
We Need Your E-mail Address
In an effort to expedite the distribution of the monthly newsletter,
e-mail addresses are being sought from Post members. Out of 93
members, the Post adjutant only has e-mail addresses for 25; the more
e-mails the Adjutant has, the faster members will be able to receive
the newsletter, and any other last-minute announcements from the
Commander and/or the Quartermaster. If you have an e-mail ac-
count, please send the address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Between
printing hard copies of the newsletter and buying stamps to mail it,
the Post spends between $65 and $75 a month.
Page 3 February 2009 VFW Post 10295
VA Wants to Increase Disabled Vets in Its Workforce
WASHINGTON- Thirty percent of employees of the "Our team is spreading the message that VA is hiring, and
Dept of Veterans Affairs (VA) are veterans and nearly we want to hire disabled veterans," said Dennis O. May,
eight percent of its employees are service-connected dis- director of VA's Veterans Employment Coordination Ser-
abled veterans. But the VA intends to increase employ- vice.
ment of disabled veterans in its workforce.
VA coordinators participate in military career fairs and
According to the VA’s former Secretary, the "VA knows transition briefings, and partner with vet organizations, the
the true quality of our men and women, and we should be Dept of Labor's Veterans Employment and Training Ser-
a leader in employing them." vice, the VA's Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment
Service, the Marine Corps' Wounded Warrior Regiment
The plan is for the VA's Veterans Employment Coordina-
and the Army's Warrior Transition Units.
tion Service to contact all severely injured veterans of Iraq
and Afghanistan to determine if they have interest in --
and are qualified for -- VA jobs.
Burger King Donates $250K to VFW
So far, that office has identified 2,300 severely injured KANSAS CITY, MO -- A check for $250,000 was pre-
veterans of those wars, of whom 600 expressed interest in sented to the VFW Foundation for the Unmet Needs Pro-
VA employment. gram during the second period of the NHL match-up be-
tween the Minnesota Wild and the Edmonton Oilers re-
The coordination service was established in 2007 to re- cently, courtesy of Mid-America Franchise Association's
cruit veterans into VA, especially those seriously injured (MAFA) Burger King restaurants.
in the current conflicts. It has nine regional coordinators
working with local facility human resources offices across This event marked the second consecutive year dedicated
the country not only to reach out to potential job candi- supporters have stepped forward to honor America’s men
dates but to ensure that local managers know about special and women in uniform raising $250,000 for the VFW Unmet
authorities available to hire veterans. Needs program. Last year, Burger King Restaurants raised
$110,000 for the program during its “buy a burger; donate a
For example, qualified disabled veterans rated by DoD or buck” initiative.
the VA as having a 30 percent or more service-connected
disability can be hired on a non-competitive basis. Accepting the check on behalf of VFW were Dan Shea, Di-
rector of the VFW Foundation, and John McNeill, VFW As-
sistant Adjutant General of Operations.
Senior Vice..……Paul Pitts Tickets Are $1.
Junior Vice..……Doug Fortune
Starts at $100 plus
70% of sales.
Advocate…..……Doug Fortune Winner Gets $20 and a Chance to
Surgeon……..…..Larry Hull Draw a Key to Unlock the Chest.
J.D. Crabtree The Treasure Continues to Grow
Each Week Until the Winning Key is
Editor…...….…....George E. Hijar Drawn.
VFW Post 10295 February 2009 Page 4
Gen. Shinseki Sworn In as VA Secretary
WASHINGTON- Retired Army Gen. Key issues on his agenda include this year through networks of regional
Eric K. Shinseki took the oath of of- smooth activation of an enhanced GI benefits offices and health care facili-
fice as the Nation's seventh Secretary Bill education benefit that eligible ties from coast to coast.
of Veterans Affairs following Jan. 20th Veterans can begin using next fall.
He served two combat tours and was
confirmation by the Senate. He suc-
Also streamlining the disability claims wounded in action in Vietnam. He
ceeds Dr. James B. Peake.
system, leveraging information tech- served with distinction in Europe, the
"The overriding challenge I am ad- nology to accelerate and modernize Pacific and stateside, eventually be-
dressing from my first day in office is services, and opening VA's health care coming the Army's senior leader from
to make the Department of Veterans system to Veterans previously unable June 1999 to June 2003.
Affairs a 21st century organization to enroll in it, while facilitating access
Born in 1942 on the island of Kauai,
focused on the Nation's Veterans as its for returning Iraq and Afghanistan
Hawaii, Shinseki graduated from the
clients," Shinseki said. Veterans.
U.S. Military Academy at West Point
Shinseki plans to develop a 2010 Shinseki, a former Army Chief of in 1965 and retired from the Army in
budget within his first 90 days that Staff, takes the reins of a 284,000- August 2003. Shinseki's military
realizes the vision of President Obama employee organization delivering decorations include three Bronze Stars
to transform VA into an organization health care and financial benefits to and two Purple Hearts.
that is people-centric, results-driven millions of Veterans and survivors
and forward-looking. under a $98 billion budget authorized
W. Scott Gould Nominated VA’s Deputy Secretary
WASHINGTON- Secretary of Veter- gies, acquisition, budget, human re- ard E. Byrd, and was assistant profes-
ans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki praised sources and leading the modernization sor of naval science at Rochester Uni-
President Barack Obama's intent to of large, complex organizations. versity. He served during Operations
nominate W. Scott Gould as next Dep- "Scott's expertise in these areas, as well Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom in
uty Secretary of VA. as his broad experience in the public Naval intelligence.
and private sectors and the military,
Gould is currently vice president for He was also co-chair of the National
will prove invaluable for better serving
public sector strategy at IBM Global Veterans Policy Team, Obama for
Veterans," Shinseki added.
Business Services and a former intelli- America, and co-chair of the Veterans
gence officer in the Naval Reserve. He Gould held positions as CFO and assis- Agency Review Team for the Presiden-
has public service experience at both tant secretary for administration at the tial Transition Team.
the Departments of Commerce and Commerce Dept., and deputy assistant
A fellow of the National Academy of
Treasury. secretary for finance and management
Public Administration, Gould is a for-
at the Treasury Dept., from 1994–99.
"Scott and I share a reverence for those mer member of the National Security
As a White House Fellow, he worked
who have served in uniform,” said Agency's Technical Advisory Group
at the Export-Import Bank of the
Shinseki. “He is fully committed to and the Malcolm Baldrige National
United States and in the Office of the
fulfilling President Obama's vision, and Quality Award Board of Overseers.
White House Chief of Staff.
my goals for transforming the Depart-
He was awarded the Dept. of Com-
ment of VA into a 21st century organi- Prior working for at IBM, he was CEO
merce Medal, the Treasury Medal and
zation, and he understands the funda- of The O'Gara Company, a strategic
the Navy Meritorious Service Medal.
mentals that will drive that transforma- advisory and investment services firm,
He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from
tion: Veteran-centric, results-oriented and CEO for Exolve, a technology ser-
Cornell University and masters in busi-
and forward looking." vices company.
ness administration and a doctorate in
Gould has a unique and wide-ranging As a Naval Reservist, he served aboard education from the University of Roch-
set of skills in information technolo- the guided missile destroyer USS Rich- ester.
Page 5 February 2009 VFW Post 10295
Reservists May Qualify For Early Retired Pay
AFN -- The Department of Defense issued new guidelines clared by the President or a national emergency supported
for early receipt of retired pay for members of the Reserve by federal funds.
components. Instead of waiting until age 60, eligible mem- The following time served on active duty is not creditable
bers can receive retired pay after age 50. service for purposes of reducing retired pay age:
Under interim changes to DoD Instruction 1215.07, Service
as a member of the active Guard and Reserve (10
Credit for Reserve Retirement, issued under a law passed by
USC § 12310);
Congress effective January 2008, reserves are able to reduce
their eligible age to receive retirement by three months for on annual tour (10 USC § 12301 (b));
each cumulative period of 90 days served on active duty in
while in captive status (10 USC § 12301 (g));
any fiscal year.
for medical treatment/evaluation for disability pur-
Under the new law, however, they still have to wait until
poses or medical study (10 USC §12301 (h));
age 60 to receive health-care benefits.
as a member not assigned to, or participating satis-
Involuntary mobilization and voluntary active duty in sup-
factorily in, units (10 USC § 12303);
port of a contingency qualify, but there is no requirement to
be involuntarily mobilized, to support a contingency or to under active-duty agreements (10 USC § 12311);
serve on active duty outside the continental US to receive
credit under the law. for disciplinary/courts-martial (10 USC § 12315);
Most active-duty time qualifies, including training, opera- for muster duty (10 USC §12319).
tional support duties and school tours. It does not matter Qualifying active-duty service performed after Jan. 28,
whether active-duty time is paid for under military or re- 2008 is creditable. The law does not provide credit for time
serve personnel appropriation accounts, provided such ac- served on or before that date.
tive duty is performed under the authority of 10 U.S. Code §
12301 (d). Reservists are encouraged to ensure their orders specify the
statutory provision under which their active-duty service is
Also included is full-time National Guard duty served on performed, and keep track of their active-duty service and
active service when called by a governor and authorized by orders to ensure they receive proper credit and they meet
the President or the Secretary of Defense under 32 USC § the cumulative 90-day thresholds to reduce retirement age.
502(f) for responding to either a national emergency de-
VA Provides Payments to Eligible Surviving Spouses
WASHINGTON - The Department of repay the money issued for the month Payments will continue to be issued as
Veterans Affairs (VA) announced im- of a veteran's death. unpaid beneficiaries are identified and
mediate actions to quickly identify and current address information is obtained.
Surviving spouses most likely to be
pay surviving spouses who are eligible
affected by this are those who never A special Survivors' Call Center (1-800
to receive a one-time compensation or
applied to VA for survivors' benefits -749-8387) has been established for
pension payment for the month of the
after the death of a veteran. spouses who believe they may be enti-
tled to this retroactive month-of-death
The task force is reviewing VA's pay-
Problems in VA's implementation of a benefit.
ment records for veterans who died af-
change in law that was effective in
ter December 31, 1996, and who are The Call Center is open Monday
1997 resulted in some surviving
survived by a spouse. through Friday from 7 a.m., to 7 p.m.,
spouses not receiving the veteran's
central standard time. Inquiries may
compensation or pension payment for Current address information is being
also be submitted at www.vba.va.gov/
the month of death. obtained for as many of these benefici-
aries as possible. VA is now issuing
A special task force was formed to
retroactive payments to eligible surviv-
identify beneficiaries who never re-
ceived the benefit or were required to
VFW Post 10295 February 2009 Page 6
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Bingo Happy Hour
7 p.m. @ the Post
8 9 10 11 12 13
Membership Bingo Happy Hour
Meeting 7 p.m. @ the Post
Lincoln’s 5 p.m.
15 Presidents’ 17 18 19 20 21
Day Happy Hour
@ the Post
7 p.m. 5 p.m.
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
Bingo @ the Post
7 p.m. 5 p.m.
☺ Bowling Green, VA 22427
17352 A. P. Hill Blvd
VFW Post 10295