AMVETS Department of Massachusetts http://amvets-ma.org Veterans Serving Veterans Sun, 24 Jun 2018 09:13:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 38999126 VFW Action Corps Weekly, June 22, 2018 http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16778 http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16778#respond Sun, 24 Jun 2018 09:13:24 +0000 http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16778 June 22, 2018   In This Issue: 1. Desert Storm Memorial Site Picked 2. DHA Executive Council Meeting 3. Senate Defense Authorization Bill Would Increase TRICARE Fees 4. Hearing on VA Staffing Shortages 5. Hearing on Military Health System Reform 6. VA Releases Report on Veteran Suicides 7. DHA PTSD Care Webinar 8. VFW Convention […]

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June 22, 2018
 
In This Issue:
1. Desert Storm Memorial Site Picked
2. DHA Executive Council Meeting
3. Senate Defense Authorization Bill Would Increase TRICARE Fees
4. Hearing on VA Staffing Shortages
5. Hearing on Military Health System Reform
6. VA Releases Report on Veteran Suicides
7. DHA PTSD Care Webinar
8. VFW Convention to Host Women Veterans Information Fair
9. MIA Update


To view this week’s edition, click here: http://www.vfw.org/actioncorpsweekly.

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Veterans-For-Change NEWSLETTER http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16776 http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16776#respond Sun, 24 Jun 2018 09:10:40 +0000 http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16776 Week Ending Sunday, June 24, 2018 Volume 9, Issue 25 This-N-That Over the past month or so we have been investigating and digging deeper into Autism and the military and although most of the information we’re finding is anecdotal at best what we have learned is that the “spectrum” defining high and low functioning people […]

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Week Ending Sunday, June 24, 2018

Volume 9, Issue 25

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This-N-That

Over the past month or so we have been investigating and digging deeper into Autism and the military and although most of the information we’re finding is anecdotal at best what we have learned is that the “spectrum” defining high and low functioning people with Autism is an adopted theory and that even most doctors who treat those with Autism and Asperger Syndrome say there is no real spectrum it’s pretty much “estimated!”

As for drug therapy, again there are no drugs that were or have been developed to help those with Autism or Asperger Syndrome, that the medications prescribed are generally those that are used to assist people with PTSD. And in many cases medications are not prescribed and/or needed which leads me to believe this is how those who have Autism can easily slip through the cracks, be enlisted and serve in the military.

We’d still like to hear from anyone who has served and is diagnosed with either Autism or Asperger Syndrome and who either served a short time or had a career till retirement in the service. And we’d also like to hear from those who made every effort to enlist but were either denied, or were given waivers.

Most everyone knows that there is a bill pending in the House, HR 299 which would resolve the issue of benefits and medical care to those who served in the Navy during Vietnam.

Commander John Wells and his team along with many BWN Veterans have fought long and hard and given so much of their time to have finally presented a bill that the committee agrees with, but now is the time for all Veterans to come together and help see to it that this bill passes both the House and Senate.

In every newsletter we’ve sent out we provide all the phone numbers you can use to call your Reps in DC and kindly ask for their support when this bill comes to the floor for a vote. So please, make use of those numbers and make those calls and we’re asking that everyone make the calls on a Friday and call every week on Friday.

Reason being is that Fridays they’re always trying to wrap up some project and calling their offices all on the same day will place a much heavier burden on staff to answer the phones and make the notes needed to pass on to the Rep they work for.

In addition we’d also like for you to go to their individual websites and send a kind message repeating what you told them on the phone and asking for their support when HR 299 comes to the floor asking they support the bill and vote YES!

Please don’t continue to be silent and even if you don’t think they listen, flooding their offices with phone calls and e-mails will grab their attention and prove just how badly this bill needs to pass!

On behalf of our Volunteers nationwide and myself, we wish you and your family good health!

Respectfully,
Jim Davis
Founder
Jim.Davis@Veterans-For-Change.org

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Navy Changes Career Sea Pay Guidelines

The U.S. Navy has announced changes to Career Sea Pay (CSP). The changes include: (1) new guidelines for special boat units, expeditionary boat units, and landing craft utility units (LCU) to receive daily CSP rates; and (2) all afloat staffs, with the exception of 7th Fleet and Carrier Strike Group 5 staffs, will now earn daily CSP, only for days spent either underway or embarked for eight continuous hours. CSP provides a special payment in recognition of the greater than normal rigors of sea duty, the arduous duty involved in long deployments, and the repetitive nature of assignment to such duty.

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Military Base Water Contamination Issues

A new health study details the scope of contaminated water supplies that have allegedly resulted in cancer and birth defects at nearly 126 military bases across the country — and the White House and Environmental Protection Agency have been pushing against its release over this past month. For more on the study and its ramifications, see this article.

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Remember Those who Served
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Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program

The Air Force’s Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program (NECP) offers Airmen the opportunity to earn a baccalaureate degree in nursing at a college or university with an Air Force ROTC detachment, or a college or university with a ‘cross-town agreement.’ Applicants who are accepted are required to attend school year-round in a resident-based program for up to 24 consecutive calendar months, where they are required to complete classes, in-residence training and ROTC requirements. For more information, visit the Air Force website. For complete application instructions and requirements, visit myPers. Select ‘Active Duty Enlisted’ from the dropdown menu and search for ‘NECP’.

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Riverside County California Veterans Survey

Help identify Riverside County Veterans’ unmet needs!

Click Here

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VFC Website

The Veterans-For-Change website has been under construction since day one back in 2009 and every day since then. The looks pretty much stay the same, but in the background constant improvement and change is being done to make our website the most user friendly “One-Stop-Shop” website to find almost everything you might have tried to find searching the internet.

Almost a hundred people have been involved; collecting web links to documents now houses on the VFC website, collecting thousands of web links for various issues, illnesses and benefits. Creating forums for all eras of service and two forums one just for men and one just for woman where you can go question, comment, share medical and personal concerns, what ever you’d like it to be.

We also have a forum with a licensed Mental Health Worker, again where you can seek help or just ask questions.

We average 2,100 hits per day, and downloads average 1,200 per day with a total 4,138,302 visitors as of Friday.

If you subscribe you will have full access to the entire website and best of all it’s FREE of charge! You just need a valid E-mail address so the system can send you a confirmation E-Mail. Once received, click on the link to be authorized automatically.

www.veterans-for-change.org

• Documents Library with over 16,411 documents on-line (Updated: 06/08/18)
• FAQ’s with more than 1,600 FAQ’s and answers
• Multiple Forums
o Afghanistan Veterans
o FMP – Foreign Medial Program
o Gulf War & Desert Storm Veterans
o Iraq Veterans
o Korean Veterans
o Men Veterans Forum
o Mental Health for Veterans (Counselor Needed)
o Political Issues
o Suggestion Box
o The Mess Hall
o VA Hospitals and Medical Centers
o Veteran Affairs
o Vietnam Veterans
o Welcome Mat
o Women Veterans Forum
o WW II Veterans
• Job Postings
• Memorial Pages (Updated: 01/11/18)
• News (Articles On-Line: 7,420)
• Polls
• Web Links, more than 3,654, Added 9 New Links (Updated: 05/27/18)

If you have a submission for the memorial pages, E-Mail: Jim.Davis@veterans-for-change.org

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Senate Passes FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act

On Monday of this week the Senate passed its version of the fiscal year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the legislation that authorizes the programs the Department of Defense can spend money on, as well as authorizing new programs within DoD. The House passed its version of the NDAA in May.

The next step in the process is a conference committee, which is composed of members from both the Senate and the House. Their job is to work out the differences between the two bills and come up with one bill that will go back to each body for a final vote. The bill is then sent to the President for his signature.

The difference in overall spending between the two bills is “only” about $1,000,000,000. While that is almost an incomprehensible number for most people, in terms of the government it’s rather small.

Both bills would give active duty personnel a 2.6% raise in FY2019 and both would increase the number of active duty personnel each of the services is authorized, although there are significant differences in the numbers which will have to be reconciled.

The biggest difference between the two bills as far as personnel issues go is a provision in the Senate NDAA which would raise health care costs for retirees under the age of 65.

Last year’s NDAA allowed those who entered the military service before January 1, 2018, to keep the TRICARE fees which were in existence at that time. However, anyone who entered after that date were subject to a new TRICARE fee structure which increased their health care costs. The Senate bill would eliminate the “grandfathering” of those in the service prior to January 1 and throw them into the new TRICARE fee structure, thus also raising their health care costs.

It is important to note at this point that retirees over the age of 65 will not be affected by this change.

However, those under age 65 would see significant increases in enrollment fees for both TRICARE Prime and TRICARE Select. Those in TRICARE Select would also see their annual deductible double.

TREA is strongly opposed to the Senate provision and we will be lobbying the members of the NDAA conference committee to take it out of the final legislation. We will also be sending out further information on this in the coming days.

The bottom line is that once again military retirees are being forced to pay more for their health care by politicians in the Senate who constantly proclaim their love for military personnel and vow to take care of them. With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Source: TREA

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Heroic Service
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VA IG in Fight With VA Leadership Over Whistleblower Records

This week the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Inspector General (IG), an independent watchdog office, accused VA leaders of improperly withholding records dealing with employee complaints.

VA leaders have responded by accusing the IG of overstepping its authority and improperly issuing reports that “recklessly cast the VA and its employees in an unfavorable light.”

VA Inspector General Michael Missal has asked VA leadership to review all complaints filed with the department’s new Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection. This was part of the VA accountability measures that were passed in the wake of the Phoenix VA wait list scandal (and many other scandals) to help root out misbehavior within the department.
Missal said he was promised access to those records in his role as an independent overseer. Earlier this month, he accused acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Peter O’Rourke of violating the law by refusing to open those files to the IG staff.

In response last week, O’Rourke denied unfettered access to the documents, calling the request too broad and impractical.

Allowing the VA IG to view these records is absolutely vital to insuring that the VA system is being held accountable. Claiming that retaliation against whistleblowers has occurred, a fact that the IG has little to no power to stop on their own absent action by Congress, is a malicious way to cut down on the IG’s ability to root out corruption and malfeasance on the part of everyday VA officials against their employees.

Missal said his staff needs access to the accountability office complaints to ensure that work isn’t being duplicated and that criminal accusations are being properly pursued.

O’Rourke was named acting VA secretary on May 30 after then-acting secretary Robert Wilkie was nominated to be the permanent Secretary of Veterans Affairs. His paperwork has not yet been delivered to the Senate for consideration, so no timeline has been set for confirmation hearings or a full chamber vote.

Source: TREA

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AMVETS National Newsletter http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16772 http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16772#respond Sun, 24 Jun 2018 09:02:15 +0000 http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16772 JOIN DONATE RENEW President Trump has signed the VA Mission Act into law. Join AMVETS & VAfor a Facebook Live Stream Getting Medical Records Online: Facebook Conversation w/ AMVETS We’ve got a #FacebookLive chat with VHA regarding how #Veterans can gain access to their VA health record information and features like Secure Messaging, online appointment […]

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President Trump has signed the VA Mission Act into law.

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Join AMVETS & VAfor a Facebook Live Stream

Getting Medical Records Online: Facebook Conversation w/ AMVETS

We’ve got a #FacebookLive chat with VHA regarding how #Veterans can gain access to their VA health record information and features like Secure Messaging, online appointment scheduling, refilling VA prescriptions and more.

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ATTN
AMVETS:

T-Mobile has an offer exclusively for AMVETS members! Click the phone number on the ad below and get 50% off 2 – 6 lines when you switch!

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Heal American Veterans        Town Hall

Lets talk healing.

Our HEAL program is hosting a ‘Heal American Veterans’ Town Hall meeting to give service members, veterans, & family members a chance to sound off on issues related to access to appropriate healthcare options. Congress and the public need to hear from you.

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AMVETS is calling for action from the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, & Congress.

There may be side effects linked to an anti-malaria drug taken be service members.

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Take our

1 QUESTION

survey ahead of AMVETS’ town Hall in July!

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AVP – Amanda Burrill

Today’s AVP topics include:

– Robert Wilkie’s Confirmation Hearing

 

– Signing of the VA Mission Act

 

– Anti-malaria drug that could be showing side effects in veterans

 

– Interview w/ veteran/advocate/mountaineer Amanda Burill

 

– Post 33 hosts 10th annual event for children w/ special needs

 

– Upcoming AMVETS events (Facebook live w/ VHA/Heal American Veterans town hall)

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AMVETS’ Chief Strategy Officer Sherman Gillums discusses the VA on AMVETS Radio

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AMVETS Nat’l Exec. Dir. Joe Chenelly tells us it may be as little as two weeks before proposed TRICARE changes make it out of committee.

[Video/Repost from ConnectingVets’ EricDehm]

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LinkedIn

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RED ALERT – ALL HANDS ON DECK http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16770 http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16770#respond Sun, 24 Jun 2018 08:59:31 +0000 http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16770 RED ALERT CORRECTED The Vietnam Blue Water Navy Bill HR 299 goes to the floor for comment and vote on Monday, June 25th and we need everyone to call their Reps in DC and kindly ask them to Vote YES on the bill. You do not have to be a Veteran to call, we’re asking […]

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Special Release

RED ALERT CORRECTED

The Vietnam Blue Water Navy Bill HR 299 goes to the floor for comment and vote on Monday, June 25th and we need everyone to call their Reps in DC and kindly ask them to Vote YES on the bill.

You do not have to be a Veteran to call, we’re asking everyone to please call, then if you would follow that up with going to your Reps website and send them an E-Mail as well asking they Vote YES on the bill!

There is a strong chance we can right a wrong of 50+ years once and for all, but we need you to help make it possible!

Then if you would share this information with all those on your E-Mail address book and ask they all do the same thing, then forward on to their lists.

Contact Congress-002

Our apologies for the error, and why we’re sending out again. We still have till 5pm DC time.

***

Betty Hidalgo-Rabuse

For those who had been following, Betty passed away in her sleep this morning approximately 5:30am PST.

Please keep her husband, James Rabuse and their family in your prayers.

She might be gone, but she will never be forgotten!

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Check out VA’s Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry – Public Health http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16768 http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16768#respond Sun, 24 Jun 2018 08:55:55 +0000 http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16768 Sign up VA’s Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry – Public Health

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Sign up
VA’s Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry – Public Health

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Post 1980 CMDR George Hill’s sevices http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16765 http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16765#respond Fri, 22 Jun 2018 15:57:01 +0000 http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16765 I know it’s a little short notice but Bryan Ross from 1980 informed me there will be a service for George this Saturday at 10am at the EVERgreen Cemetery in Marlborough with a gathering at the post to follow.

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I know it’s a little short notice but Bryan Ross from 1980 informed me there will be a service for George this Saturday at 10am at the EVERgreen Cemetery in Marlborough with a gathering at the post to follow.

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Changes in Marital Status, Changes in TRICARE Coverage http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16763 http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16763#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 13:05:57 +0000 http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16763 FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Did you get married or divorced recently? If so, you’ve experienced a TRICARE Qualifying Life Event (QLE). With TRICARE, QLEs are certain life changes, like moving, getting married or divorced, becoming Medicare-eligible, and more. These changes may trigger a change in your TRICARE eligibility and options. A QLE for one family member creates […]

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FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Did you get married or divorced recently? If so, you’ve experienced a TRICARE Qualifying Life Event (QLE). With TRICARE, QLEs are certain life changes, like moving, getting married or divorced, becoming Medicare-eligible, and more. These changes may trigger a change in your TRICARE eligibility and options.

A QLE for one family member creates a QLE for all family members. This means all family members may switch enrollment plans when one person in the family has a QLE.

Getting married or divorced allows you and your dependents 90 days to enroll in or change your TRICARE health plan coverage outside of the annual open season. It may allow you to enroll in a new TRICARE plan or change your TRICARE health plan coverage within 90 days of the QLE.

Getting Married

If you get married, register your new spouse in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). This is the step that will make him or her show as TRICARE-eligible. Your spouse’s TRICARE plan options will depend on your beneficiary status and where you live.

Getting Divorced

You must also update DEERS if you get divorced. The sponsor will need to provide a copy of the divorce decree, dissolution or annulment. Former spouses who aren’t eligible for TRICARE will no longer be eligible to get health care services under TRICARE. Former spouses who haven’t remarried can keep TRICARE in certain situations.

If you meet the eligibility requirement, you will be listed in DEERS under your own Social Security number (SSN) or Department of Defense Benefits Number (DBN) — not your former sponsor’s.

Take command of your health by learning more about QLEs and the upcoming open season.

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6/20/2018 Washington Update http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16761 http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16761#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 08:16:32 +0000 http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16761 June 20, 2018     Inside this issue TREA: The Enlisted Association’s Washington Update • Senate Passes FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act • VA IG in Fight With VA Leadership Over Whistleblower Records • TREA Urges Support for ‘Complete the MISSION’ Amendment • Burn Pits Get a Hearing in Congress • Want to Put Your Uniform Back On? This May […]

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June 20, 2018
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 Inside this issue
TREA: The Enlisted Association’s Washington Update
TREA: The Enlisted Association’s Washington Update
Senate Passes FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act
On Monday of this week the Senate passed its version of the fiscal year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the legislation that authorizes the programs the Department of Defense
can spend money on, as well as authorizing new programs within DoD. The House passed its version of the NDAA in May.

The next step in the process is a conference committee, which is composed of members from both the Senate and the House. Their job is to work out the differences between the two bills and come up with one bill that will go back to each body for a final vote. The bill is then sent to the President for his signature.

The difference in overall spending between the two bills is “only” about $1,000,000,000. While that is almost an incomprehensible number for most people, in terms of the government it’s rather small.

Both bills would give active duty personnel a 2.6% raise in FY2019 and both would increase the number of active duty personnel each of the services is authorized, although there are significant differences in the numbers which will have to be reconciled.

The biggest difference between the two bills as far as personnel issues go is a provision in the Senate NDAA which would raise health care costs for retirees under the age of 65.

Last year’s NDAA allowed those who entered the military service before January 1, 2018, to keep the TRICARE fees which were in existence at that time. However, anyone who entered after that date were subject to a new TRICARE fee structure which increased their health care costs. The Senate bill would eliminate the “grandfathering” of those in the service prior to January 1 and throw them into the new TRICARE fee structure, thus also raising their health care costs.

It is important to note at this point that retirees over the age of 65 will not be affected by this change.

However, those under age 65 would see significant increases in enrollment fees for both TRICARE Prime and TRICARE Select. Those in TRICARE Select would also see their annual deductible double.

TREA is strongly opposed to the Senate provision and we will be lobbying the members of the NDAA conference committee to take it out of the final legislation. We will also be sending out further information on this in the coming days.

The bottom line is that once again military retirees are being forced to pay more for their health care by politicians in the Senate who constantly proclaim their love for military personnel and vow to take care of them. With friends like these, who needs enemies?​

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VA IG in Fight With VA Leadership Over Whistleblower Records
This week the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Inspector General (IG), an independent watchdog office, accused VA leaders of improperly withholding records dealing with employee complaints.

VA leaders have responded by accusing the IG of overstepping its authority and improperly issuing reports that “recklessly cast the VA and its employees in an unfavorable light.”

VA Inspector General Michael Missal has asked VA leadership to review all complaints filed with the department’s new Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection. This was part of the VA accountability measures that were passed in the wake of the Phoenix VA wait list scandal (and many other scandals) to help root out misbehavior within the department.
Missal said he was promised access to those records in his role as an independent overseer. Earlier this month, he accused acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Peter O’Rourke of violating the law by refusing to open those files to the IG staff.

In response last week, O’Rourke denied unfettered access to the documents, calling the request too broad and impractical.

Allowing the VA IG to view these records is absolutely vital to insuring that the VA system is being held accountable. Claiming that retaliation against whistleblowers has occurred, a fact that the IG has little to no power to stop on their own absent action by Congress, is a malicious way to cut down on the IG’s ability to root out corruption and malfeasance on the part of everyday VA officials against their employees.

Missal said his staff needs access to the accountability office complaints to ensure that work isn’t being duplicated and that criminal accusations are being properly pursued.

O’Rourke was named acting VA secretary on May 30 after then-acting secretary Robert Wilkie was nominated to be the permanent Secretary of Veterans Affairs. His paperwork has not yet been delivered to the Senate for consideration, so no timeline has been set for confirmation hearings or a full chamber vote.

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TREA Urges Support for ‘Complete the MISSION’ Amendment
TREA is extremely pleased that the VA MISSION Act (P.L. 115-182), has been signed in to law and will take effect next year.

This historic legislation will consolidate and reform VA’s community care programs; strengthen VA’s ability to recruit, hire and retain medical personnel; review, realign and modernize VA’s health care infrastructure; and extend eligibility to VA’s comprehensive caregiver assistance program to veterans severely injured before September 11, 2001.

However, Congress must now step up to the plate and provide the resources to fully fund the many critical provisions of this legislation.
TREA is urging that Senate leadership (Senate Majority Leader McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Charles Shumer, Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester) and all other Senators support and vote for Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby and Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy’s new “Complete the Mission” amendment. This amendment allows Congress to provide VA with sufficient resources required to implement the provisions of the VA MISSION Act without triggering sequestration or requiring cuts to other VA programs.

The VA MISSION Act moves the funding responsibility for care currently provided through the Veterans Choice Program from mandatory appropriations to the discretionary side of government spending. This means that veteran health care spending must now fit within overall domestic spending ceiling that was established by the automatic cuts to federal government spending as a result of Budget Control Act of 2011. However, the current law the limits spending for domestic programs for FY 2019, and the anticipated limits for FY 2020 and FY 2021, did not contemplate the new and increased costs associated with the VA MISSION Act.  As a result, Congress may not have the ability to fully fund all of the programs, benefits and services that our veterans, their families and survivors have earned.

VA should not be forced to choose between fully funding its hospitals and clinics for veterans seeking care inside the VA health care system, or fully funding community care for veterans who would otherwise be forced to wait too long or travel too far to access VA care.  We do not want to return to a time when veterans were forced onto waiting lists to get the care they have earned through their service and sacrifice.

TREA has consistently opposed efforts to force veterans to ‘rob Peter to pay Paul.’  Cutting veterans benefits to fund other benefits is a choice that we reject outright.

The new Shelby-Leahy “Complete the Mission” amendment would allow Congress to appropriate additional funding to meet the new requirements of the VA MISSION Act without running afoul of the spending limits.  However, this amendment would limit the amount of such funding to just $1.6 billion for FY 2018, $8.67 billion for FY 2019 and $9.5 billion for FY 2020.
We are very concerned that without assurance of sufficient funding, reform and modernization of the VA health care system – which millions of ill and injured veterans rely on – could be delayed or endangered.  Further, tens of thousands of caregivers for severely injured veterans might have to continue waiting before they can receive the benefits they deserve. For these reasons it is absolutely critical that the Shelby-Leahy “Complete the Mission” amendment to the MilCon-VA Appropriations bill be adopted by the Senate, approved by the House, and enacted into law.

TREA will keep fighting for this urgently needed legislation.

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Burn Pits Get a Hearing in Congress

Vietnam era veterans are familiar with the long fight to have exposure to Agent Orange recognized as a presumptive disease by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  That means that the VA assumes that certain diseases can be related to something a Veteran was exposed to during their military service, and it allows the affected Veterans to receive a VA disability rating and whatever benefits follow from that.

TREA strongly supported making Agent Orange exposure a presumptive disease.  Now, a new fight is underway, one which TREA also supports and is involved in.  That fight is about the “burn pits” in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Veterans who were in the area where burn pits were used to burn anything that needed to be destroyed, including extremely toxic substances, have been coming down with diseases and conditions at an unusual rate and that are not normal for individuals who are their ages.

If you click on the link below you can read a story about a recent Congressional hearing about the burn pits and about what is happening to the men and women who were exposed to the smoke from the burn pits.

One word of explanation.  This article is from a political magazine.  However, the article is not political.  It is simply an excellent report on the hearing about burn pits.  Also, in the article the letters “TAC” appear a number of times.  That is shorthand for the title of the magazine, The American  Conservative.  By linking to this article we are not supporting or opposing any political commentary found elsewhere in the magazine.

Finally, we encourage you to contact your own Senators and Representatives and urge them to pass legislation similar to the Agent Orange Act of 1991 that eventually led to exposure to Agent Orange being considered a presumptive disease.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/vets-cheer-as-va-dod-take-a-beating-at-burn-pits-hearing/

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Want to Put Your Uniform Back On? This May Be Your Chance
If you’ve had the urge recently to take your old uniform out of the closet, dust it off and report for duty once again, the Army might have a deal for you. It seems the Army is short about 400 recruiters and it needs more in order to try and reach its authorized end strength.

The improved economy, private sector employers who can pay more to high school graduates, the inability of many young people to pass the physical testing, and the increase in end strength authorized by Congress last year and again this year are the reasons for the recruiting shortfall.

The Army says it needs 150 retired staff sergeants and sergeants first class (E-6 and E-7), who have either been recruiters or instructors to come back on active duty. The rest they hope to get by other measures, including reassigning some personnel who were recruiters and who are still serving.

The recruiting shortfall may also force the Army to take in more recruits who need waivers for marijuana use, low test scores or other health issues.

Anyone interested in going back would have a two-year commitment and would receive full pay and benefits, although there are no bonuses. They also would have to pass a PT test and meet the height and weight standards.

Interested retirees can send an email to usarmy.jble.tradoc.mbx.g1g4-rdad@mail.mil or call the TRADOC adjutant general’s office at (757) 501-6855/6863/6861.

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This Saturday – Thanks To Yanks Welcome Summer Family BBQ http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16759 http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16759#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 08:13:20 +0000 http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16759 Thanks To Yanks presents Welcome Summer Family BBQ Saturday, June 23rd, 2018 from 12:30pm – 4:30 p.m. American Legion Fairmount Post 85, 870 River Street, Woonsocket, RI $5.00 per person OR bring an item for our deployed troops care packages such as: (protein bars, beef jerky, new/current magazines, 2-ply toilet paper, sunscreen or shaving cream (non-aerosol), or […]

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Thanks To Yanks

presents

Welcome Summer Family BBQ

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018 from 12:30pm – 4:30 p.m.
American Legion Fairmount Post 85, 870 River Street, Woonsocket, RI

$5.00 per person OR bring an item for our deployed troops care packages such as: (protein bars, beef jerky, new/current magazines, 2-ply toilet paper, sunscreen or shaving cream (non-aerosol), or fly-paper)

Admission includes: hot dogs, burgers, chips, DJ, games

Cash bar and raffles throughout the day.

This event is open to the general public, veterans, and military families and will be held rain or shine and tickets are available at the event, no reservations needed.

Thanks To Yanks, a non-profit, all-volunteer, organization providing support and resources to military members, veterans, and their families.  Over 93% of all funds raised goes directly to this mission.

Can’t attend?  Consider donating a store or restaurant gift certificate that could be used in our raffle. For further info contact info@thankstoyanks.org.
Learn About Our Event

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Webinar on Preventing Suicides Among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16755 http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16755#respond Tue, 19 Jun 2018 15:16:45 +0000 http://amvets-ma.org/?p=16755 Register today for this June 28 webinar! SAMHSA’s Service Members, Veterans, and their Families Technical Assistance Center presents: Preventing Suicides Among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families:  Why We Need to Consider Lethal Means and What We Can Do June 28, 2018, 2:00–4:00 p.m. ET Join us for the first session in the Suicide Prevention […]

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Register today for this June 28 webinar!

Register today for this June 28 webinar!

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SAMHSA's SMVF TA Center logo

SAMHSA’s Service Members, Veterans, and their Families Technical Assistance Center presents:

Preventing Suicides Among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families: 

Why We Need to Consider Lethal Means and What We Can Do

June 28, 2018, 2:00–4:00 p.m. ET

Join us for the first session in the Suicide Prevention Virtual Event Series focusing on strategies to prevent suicide amoung our service members, veterans, and their families (SMVF).  This series will be hosted by SAMHSA’s SMVF Technical Assistance (TA) Center, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  These sessions are designed to be both interactive and informative.

As communities develop comprehensive approaches to suicide prevention for SMVF, “means reduction” that is military culture informed is a critical component that must be considered.  Session 1 in the Strategies to Reduce Suicide Among SMVF Virtual Event Series will feature Megan McCarthy, Ph.D., who will discuss military culture-informed strategies that can be used to reduce access to lethal means, including poisoning and firearms for individuals who are at high risk of suicide.  While suicidal thoughts are most often brief and temporary, access to lethal means during times of elevated distress and risk too often translates fleeting thoughts of suicide into tragedy.  This interactive session will focus on veteran-centered approaches to lethal means safety and include examples to help participants develop an effective strategy for reducing veteran suicide.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify strategies for working collaboratively with SMVF for safe storage of firearms and medications
  • Detail successful military culture-informed strategies for working collaboratively with veterans and their loved ones to develop individualized plans for the safe storage of medications and firearms
  • Discuss available resources for veterans and families to minimize risk

Megan McCarthy, Ph.D. | Deputy Director, Suicide Prevention Programs, Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Dr. McCarthy serves as Deputy Director of the VA’s Office of Suicide Prevention.  Her work focuses on the development of VA’s comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention and on oversight of the office’s day-to-day operations.  Dr. McCarthy is also an Assistant Health Sciences Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.  She received a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University, where she studied philosophy and international relations, and a Doctor of Philosophy in psychology from the University of California Berkeley.  She completed her doctoral internship at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and a postdoctoral clinical fellowship specializing in psychotherapy for underserved communities at Harvard Medical School.

Target Audience

Representatives serving SMVF from state, territory, and tribal behavioral health systems; community health care providers; suicide prevention coordinators; mental health and addiction peers; military family coalitions and advocates.

Please note:

  • The event will be hosted on a WebEx Platform and participants are asked to test their system before the broadcast
  • The webinar archive will be made available to registrants after the webinar
  • Continuing education units are not available for this webinar

If you have any questions about your registration, please contact Philip Paty at (518) 439-7415, ext. 5272, or by email at ppaty@prainc.com.

Mark Your Calendars for Sessions 2 and 3

Session 2 – Building a Protective Environment with Whole-Person Care, featuring Ajay Manhapra, M.D., Lead Physician, Advanced PACT Pain Clinic, Hampton VA Medical Center, Hampton, Virginia

July 18, 2018; 2:00-4:00 p.m. ET

How do care providers navigate the challenges of managing chronic pain while avoiding addiction among SMVF? What is the link between chronic pain and suicidality? What is a protective environment and how do you create one for the SMVF in your care? In this session, Dr. Manhapra will explore the importance of comprehensive whole person care in creating protective environments for veterans that reduce both addiction and suicide.

Session 3 – Acute Care Transitions: What Works, featuring Richard McKeon, Ph.D., M.P.H., Chief, Suicide Prevention Branch, Division of Prevention, Traumatic Stress, and Special Programs, Center for Mental Health Services, SAMHSA

August 6, 2018; 1:00-3:00 p.m. ET

Research reveals that the risk for suicide attempt or death increases significantly in the 30 days immediately following discharge from Emergency Departments and inpatient psychiatric units. Dr. McKeon’s presentation will focus on improving post-discharge safety and address how crisis service system follow-ups have proven successful.

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