Air Force Association “The Force behind the Force Visit the Arkansas State Web site at www.arkansasafa.org HERCULES REPORT The news of the Arkansas Air Force Association OCTOBER - December 2008 From Your State President: Well another year has come and gone. I hope that you all had a merry Christmas and wish you all the best that 2009 may have to offer. All of the plans have been received and forwarded to National. Our chapters continue their programs and do well with them. We do need to get the word out to non AFA organizations the status of the Air Force aircraft and people status. If you need talking points check the AFA web site. If you would want an AFA speaker to an organization contact a chapter president or myself. The state meeting was held in November and plans were developed for the coming year. State officers are Jerry Reichenbach (DDT) President, Morris Cash V/President, Marleen Eddlemon Secretary, and Wayne Cullins Treasurer. There will be a state meeting in February in Hot Springs and will include an outing to Oaklawn Park for an afternoon of horse racing. Letters requesting nominations for AFA JROTC unit and cadet of the year will go out to all AFJROTC units in the state. Also requests for Arkansas Air Guardsman of the year, Civil Patrol Squadron of the Year and AFROTC Cadet of the year. These will be presented as awards packages are received and approved by the awards committee. Lewis E. Lyle Chapter: The Lyle Chapter continues to meet regularly and one of their goals was finally met when they broke ground for the Garland County Veterans Memorial back in November. It was a hard year for the chapter loosing two staunch members but they have overcome that challenge and are pressing forward. Officers for the next year are: Josie Fernandez, President, Len Buch V/President, Morris Cash Secretary, and Ken Johnson Treasurer. Chapter members participated in the Garland County Veterans Day activities. Josie, Morris, and Len attended the State meeting. Plans are under way for the January General membership meeting. David D. Terry Chapter” Chapter members attended the Veterans Day activities at Little Rock AFB, the State Capital and in Jacksonville. Members also attended the “Remember Pearl Harbor Day activities at the State Capital. Tom Robertson and Jim Elmer attended the Arkansas Veterans Coalition Meetings this quarter and reported on the activities to the chapter. Chapter presented memberships or a bond to the members of Little Rock AFB Quarter Award winners. Officers for the next year are: John Heffernan President, Mary Johnston V/President, Jerry Reichenbach Secretary, and Wayne Cullins Treasurer. This was the first year in many years that the Chapter didn’t participate in the Retiree Activities Day event at Little Rock AFB. Prior scheduled events prevented members from presenting a good event so it was decided not to participate. Up coming events will include a Community Partners recognition dinner and LRAFB Quarterly and Annual Awards presentations in January. January will include the “AF Tops in Blue” concert and the Cabot and Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce Annual banquets. Chapter members have been actively supporting the move of a Vietnam Veteran from Camp Robinson to the Jacksonville Museum of Military History, A Republic F-105F (63-8261) that has been on display at Arkansas National Guard Base in North Little Rock was moved to the museum in November and is currently being prepared for permanent display. This Vietnam veteran will be repainted in Vietnam era colors and displayed in a climbing attitude atop a 12 foot pedestal. Work will commence on restoration as soon as weather permits. Arkansas AFA Community Partners Cabot Chamber of Commerce Certified Public Accountant Community Bank Chuck Frazier Nissan Tim Parker Chrysler Dodge Jeep Arkansas Federal Credit Union Ashland Chemical Company Bart Gray Realty Co Inc City of Jacksonville Entergy First Arkansas Bank & Trust First Arkansas Bank & Trust First Electronic Co-op Foxwood Country Club Harold Gwatney Chevrolet Harold Gwatney Chevrolet Improved Construction Methods Jacksonville Patriot Jax Chamber of Commerce Lockheed Martin C-130 ATS McAlister & Associates, PA North Metro Medical Center Rice and Adams Altivity Packaging LLC Billye Everett James W. Richardson Tracy French Chuck Frazer Tim Parker Larry Biernacki John R. Ferrell Thad Gray Tommy Swaim Barbara Merrick Larry T. Wilson Mark Wilson Don Crabbe Rick Jenkins Box 631 P.O. Box 1174 Box 1028 4111 Central Ave 4722 Central Ave 2424 Marshall Rd 1901 Redmond Rd. P.O. Box 37 Box 126 P.O. Box 399 P.O. Box 827 P.O. Box 828 Box 5018 701 Foxwood Dr P.O. Box 156 P.O. Box 156 224 N. Bailey St Box 5329 200 Dupree Dr P.O. Box 1282 Box 956 1400 Braden St. Box 5587 1031 Redmond Rd. Cabot Cabot Cabot Hot Springs Hot Springs Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Bill Gwatney Dub Myers Bruce McFadden Dennis Byrd Amy Mattison Vic Torla Mack McAlister Scott Landrum Ben Rice Dale Pool Target Printing & Office Cntr City of Little Rock Comcast Cable LR Convention Visitor Bureau UBS Paine Webber City of North Little Rock Alton Johnson Jim Dailey Mike Wilson Dan O’Byrne Richard G. Gilmore Patrick Hays Box 5586 500 W. Markham 801 Scott St. Box 1513 10800 Financial Cntr Pkwy P.O. Box 5757 Jacksonville Little Rock Little Rock Little Rock Little Rock N Little Rock Community Partners could be the financial lifeblood of your chapter. Talk to your business leaders and ask them about supporting the AFA. Also check with the organizations where you hold your general membership meetings. You bring them income and they could reciprocate. AFA Veteran Benefits Association (AFAVBA) was created as a result of the consolidation of the Air Force Association and the Aerospace Education Foundation to provide benefits to military Veterans and to AFA Members. AFA’s programs will continue unchanged, but under the AFA Veteran Benefits Association name. All AFA members are eligible to participate in these AFAVBA Programs. The Life and Accident Insurance Programs, however, require that you meet one of the following requirements: 1. Served or serving in the U.S. Military 2. Spouse or Widow(er) of someone who served or is serving in the U.S. Military 3. Ancestor or Lineal Descendent of someone who served or is serving in the U.S. Military. (This means you’re the child, grandchild, great grandchild, etc., or the father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, etc. of someone who served or is serving in the U.S. Military. Aunts and uncles do not qualify.) It's OK Now: Veterans and active-duty members of the military not in uniform may now render the military-style hand salute during the playing of the National Anthem or presentation of the US Flag based on a provision included in the Fiscal 2009 defense authorization act that became law earlier this last year. "The military salute is a unique gesture of respect that marks those who have served in our nation's armed forces," Veterans Affairs Secretary James Peake, said in a VA release. He continued, "This provision allows the application of that honor in all events involving our nation's flag." Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK.), an Army veteran, sponsored the measure, which builds upon language in last year's defense legislation that authorized veterans and members of the armed forces not in uniform to render the military-style hand salute during the raising, lowering or passing of the flag. Traditionally, members of the nation's veteran’s service organizations have rendered the hand-salute during the national anthem and at events involving the national flag while wearing their organization's official headgear. AFA National Headquarters is starting an initiative called “Airpower Advocates” whereby a member from each chapter is selected to be the spokesperson in the local area on Air Force issues. Our Chapter representative is Phil Davis (501) 791-2020) of Your Extra Specialties Inc 4300 Arlington Dr, North Little Rock, AR 72116-8337 His responsibilities include: 1. Contacting reporters from the local newspapers Contacting local Civic Groups (Rotary, Lions etc) 2. Contacting Local Talk Shows. 3. With each of these media sources, if you know a reporter, belong to a civic group that is in search of a speaker, or have a relationship with one of our local talk shows, please contact Phil. Thank you. Top key personnel issues that AFA will be pursuing this year. Keep TRICARE fees and deductibles as low as possible across the board by opposing increases while advocating for transparency and efficiency within the TRICARE Management Activity so that costsaving measures can be implemented and frivolous spending eliminated prior to cost-shifting to beneficiaries Improve the TRICARE Dental program by making it comparable to other TRICARE benefits o Seek legislation to enable TRICARE eligible Former Spouses to participate in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Plan o Allow the TRICARE Dental Benefit of surviving children of those who die on active duty to match the TRICARE Medical Benefit by providing premium-free coverage until they reach age 21, or 23 if enrolled in college Support legislation to immediately stop the offset of any retired pay as a condition for receiving VA disability compensation, thereby allowing for concurrent receipt o Retired military members who earned military retired pay due to length of service or disability and who also earned VA disability compensation because of a service-related disability rating should not have their retired pay offset for each dollar of tax-free VA disability pay; o Retired pay is earned for a career of uniformed service—some over 20 years and some cut short by line-of-duty disabilities, and VA disability compensation is recompense for pain, suffering, and lost future earning power due to service-connected disabilities. These two should not be offset Correct remaining Survivor Benefit Program (SBP) inequities by supporting the repeal of the SBP-DIC offset and changing the minimum age for paid-up SBP from age 70 to age 67 so those who joined the military soon after high school and served 20 years will only have to pay SBP premiums for 30 years as intended o Current law requires a dollar-for-dollar reduction in Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) benefits for any amount of Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to survivors of members who died of service-connected causes; o AFA actively supports legislation to repeal the current law that penalizes military survivors Institutionalize a stable funding mechanism to ensure the Department of Veterans‘ Affairs can ensure health care ‗supply‘ is able to meet growing demand o Support all reasonable approaches to make funding streams more long-term and reliable, including legislation that would authorize two-year advance appropriations; a new approach pioneered by the Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) and adopted by the Military Coalition (TMC) Finally eliminate the backlog of VA disability claims by aggressively and fully training, compensating, and equipping the 2000 additional claims workers approved by Congress in 2008 Expand recent improvements in educational benefits for service personnel: o Eliminate inequities in the Post 9/11 GI Bill by expanding eligibility to service personnel who initially enlist in the Selected Reserve o Reduce current value inequities in the Montgomery GI Bill. The current value under this program for members of the Selected Reserve is approximately 25% of total educational cost as compared to a historical ratio of 47-50% Continue and expand VA/DoD collaboration on ‗Wounded Warrior‘ issues o Ensure the charter of the ―Special Oversight Committee (SOC)‖ is extended into the new administration for continuity of service o Establish a permanent DoD-VA Interagency Program Office and put all aspects of seamless transition oversight under its auspices Provide an annual military pay raise that is at least equivalent to increases in the Employment Cost Index o Sustaining pay comparability is essential in an all-volunteer force, and is a key aspect of ensuring the Air Force can meet its national security requirements Update the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) to accommodate the new challenges of a 21st Century economy and the realities of military service by: o Requiring institutions of higher education to refund tuition and fees for a program of education for which a member of the National Guard or Reserve was unable to receive academic credit due to activation or deployment o Expand an SCRA change in 2008 that allows servicemembers facing deployment or a PCS move to terminate cell phone contracts without penalty to include the cancellation of ‗family plans‘ on behalf of immediate family members of servicemembers upon a deployment or PCS move Just for your information: There are only 9 members out of the original 80 crew members of the Doolittle Raiders still living William Bower Robert Hite Frank Kappeler Richard Cole Edward Saylor James Macia Thomas Griffin David Thatcher Charles Ozuk Of the 18,482 Consolidated B-24 Heavy Bombers built only 3 are in flying condition. Of the 10,037 Lockheed P-38 fighters built only 4 are flyable. Of the 272 North American P/F 82 fighters built none are in flyable condition and only two are on display with one in the process of restoration. There is only 1 pilot ace in the Vietnam War – Steve Ritchie with 5 kills but his back GIB Charles DeBellevue has 6 kills. There were 36 aces in the Korean war. There were 28 B-17/B-24, B-26 and B-29 and navy gunner Aces with two having shot down 12 aircraft. The US Navy conducted a study to put water skies on a C-130. Nothing past some pictures.