Veterans Benefits Information

...online guide to VA benefits

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Veterans Benefits Information

Defense bill controls fee increases

E-mail Print PDF
The 2012 Defense Bill complies with The American Legion’s opposition to arbitrary TRICARE fee increases by tying any such increases directly to military retirement pay raises. Specifically, the National Defense Authorization Act, signed Dec. 31 by President Obama, reads, “Whenever after September 30, 2012, the Secretary of Defense increases the retired pay of members and former members of the armed forces… the Secretary shall increase the amount of the fee payable for enrollment in TRICARE Prime by an amount equal… to the percentage increase in such retired pay.” “This is a victory for those of us who have fought to keep the government from increasing the out-of-pocket cost for military retirees using TRICARE,” American Legion National Commander Fang A. Wong said. “Health-care benefits are the reward for a career well spent in the U.S. Armed Forces. Increasing out-of-pocket costs without increasing retirement pay would reduce the value of that reward.” Another aspect of the Defense Bill that relates to TRICARE, and was supported by the Legion, aims to ensure there is an adequate number of health-care providers honoring the benefit to meet the military retiree community’s needs. “Considering the traditional shortage of such resources, this is welcome news,” Wong said.

Read More
 

Legion applauds Guard seat on JCS

E-mail Print PDF
The American Legion firmly supports the addition of the National Guard’s voice on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That and other Legion-backed initiatives were included in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 31. “The National Guard has been essential to the success of our military operations at home and around the globe for the past decade,” American Legion National Commander Fang A. Wong said. “Hundreds of thousands of Guard members have been mobilized during the global war on terror, and they certainly deserve a direct voice in planning and decision making at the highest levels.” Chief of the National Guard Bureau Gen. Craig R. McKinley will serve as a full member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which previously consisted of only a chairman and vice-chairman and heads of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. “The National Guard, while not a separate military service branch, does have distinct roles and missions that warrant a seat at the table among the top leaders in the Pentagon,” Wong said. “This action properly recognizes the unique but connected role the National Guard and all our reserve components play in today’s military affairs.”

Read More
 

M&PA Committee to meet in Indy

E-mail Print PDF

The American Legion’s National Membership & Post Activities Committee will be in Indianapolis Jan. 6 for its annual planning meeting. The committee will discuss the Legion’s long-term membership plan during the meeting, as well as receive briefs from Legion staff on online training and renewals, and MyLegion.org. National Commander Fang A. Wong will address the committee, as will National Adjutant Daniel S. Wheeler, leading candidate for 2012-2013 national commander Jim Koutz and Dan Dellinger a consultant from the Legion’s Legislative Commission.

Read More
 

Legion, Freedom Car part ways

E-mail Print PDF

After a six-year partnership, Team Johnson Motorsports and The American Legion parted way Dec. 31 after their contract expired. “It has been a wonderful experience,” said Jerick Johnson, driver for the iconic American Legion/David Law Firm 76 Freedom Car. “Regardless where racing takes me, I will always cherish my years driving the Freedom Car. “We at Team Johnson Motorsports have been privileged to carry The American Legion emblem on our race cars across the country and humbled by the grassroots support bestowed us by the Legion family from California to Virginia, Minnesota to Florida, and the many states between. It has been an awesome ride. I will miss it. We all will miss it.” The decision to not ink a new contract was amicable and mutual, said car owner Jack Johnson. “It takes money to field a competitive race car – a lot of money,” Johnson said. “Our contract with The American Legion stipulated that we could use The American Legion Emblem for marketing purposes but that we would receive no other financial support from the national organization. Unfortunately, we were not able to continue to field a competitive race team within the confines of the contract.” The race team and national Legion leadership agreed it was untenable to provide direct financial support to the Legion Racing program. “We are the world’s largest veterans organization,” said Jack Querfeld, director of The American Legion Internal Affairs Division. “Our primary focus and responsibility is to support our nation’s veterans and their families. “Jerick Johnson has been a powerful spokesman for The American Legion, and the racing program has introduced the Legion to thousands of race fans across the country. But from the beginning we knew we could not justify direct financial support to a racing program when our resources must focus on veterans’ issues.” The Johnsons were perfect American Legion spokespersons, Querfeld said. “Jack is a Legionnaire, his wife, Debby, is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, and Jerick is a Sons of The American Legion member,” he said. “They personify what is great about America and understand the challenges facing veterans. They have enthusiastically carried the Legion message to scores of communities and thousands of race fans across the country – for which we will forever be grateful.” Team Johnson Motorsports is not leaving racing. Jerick Johnson will drive the POW/MIA Freedom Car during the 2012 season. Johnson is scheduled to compete in the 2012 Speedfest Jan. 27-29 at Lanier National Speedway in Braselton, Ga. Team Johnson Motorsports will continue to serve veterans across the country with their POW/MIA Freedom Car National Tour. “We have received a great amount of enthusiasm from our veteran supporters across the country and are excited to bring a new twist to the Freedom Car,” Jack Johnson said. “The POW/MIA cause is something that is very important to all veterans, and we will continue to show our support for those that have served our country – including Legion members – by carrying the POW/MIA logo on all of our race cars.” The Johnsons also are taking applications for their startup school, Stock Car Tech, a nine-month hands-on curriculum to introduce students to the racing world and to give them skills to work for a race team and/or build, repair or setup their own race car. The new 20,000 sq. ft. facility will give participants the equipment and ability to work hand-in-hand with the Team Johnson Motorsports Freedom Cars, said Jerick Johnson, who has also committed to helping young drivers pursue their careers in racing by giving driver development opportunities within Stock Car Tech. Information regarding Stock Car Tech can be found at www.StockCarTech.net. Legionnaires can keep up to date with results of future POW/MIA Freedom Car races and get information on how to schedule a Freedom Car appearance at www.freedomcar.org.

Read More
 

VA to host career fair Jan. 18 in D.C.

E-mail Print PDF

The Department of Veterans Affairs will host its first Veteran Career Fair and Expo on Jan. 18 in Washington, D.C. The free event is for veterans and will provide information on education, benefits, jobs, health care and small business opportunities. The event is sponsored by VA for Vets; The American Legion will have a booth at the career fair, where Legion staff will accept résumés, and discuss Legion programs and other employment, business options. The event will take place from 8 a.m.- 7 p.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Place NW. Admission is free. During the event, veterans will be able to register for VA benefits and services; hiring managers from VA and other federal agencies will be on site to interview and hire veterans for a variety of positions. Career Coaches will be available to help job-seekers: •Translate their military experience into marketable skills; •Build a résumé in the federal job application format; and •Find career opportunities in the federal government. Closer to the event, information about special non-competitive hiring authority positions will be posted on this website; prospective employees will have the opportunity to submit their résumé , DD214 and eligibility letter to qualify for an onsite interview. Booths will be set up and learning sessions conducted that will help veterans gain access to programs like eBenefits or the Post 9/11 GI Bill, receive medical and dental checks, and meet with representatives from programs for women veterans, survivors and minority veterans Attendees are asked to bring proof of their military service: DD-214; Guard/reserve retirement orders; a military ID (active duty, retired, Guard, reserve); a Statement of Service or a VIC Card. If you are unable to locate proof of service, on the event day, VA staff members will be available to assist you. During the event, free child care will be available. Space is limited, so pre-registration is suggested by going to https://www.kiddiecorp.com/vakids.htm. The Child Care Consent Form will need to be completed and brought to the event. To register for the event, go to http://www.vaforvets.com/DC/Register.html. For more information, go to http://www.vaforvets.com/DC/

Read More
 


Page 2091 of 2213


Did you know?

Military Funeral Honors ceremonies must be scheduled in advance.

The law requires that every eligible veteran receive a military funeral honors ceremony, which includes the folding and presentation of the United States flag and the playing of “taps,” upon the family’s request. This Department of Defense program calls for the funeral director to request military funeral honors on behalf of the veteran’s family.