1 Volume: Twenty Seven Number Two February 2014 The MILITARY OFFICER s ASSOCIATION of AMERICA Greater Dallas Chapter MOAA REPORTER COLA Cap & Compensation Modernization Keep Up the Pressure Things are looking up for the repeal of the 1% reduction in the cost of living adjustment (COLA) for military retirees under the age of 62. MOAA National reports that 50 senators and 202 representatives have announced support to repeal this legislation. Also encouraging is the fact that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NEV) has indicated that he plans to bring a bill to the Senate floor as soon as possible that includes a full repeal of the military retired pay COLA cuts established in the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of The bill (S. 1950) combines Senate omnibus veterans benefits bills with a full repeal of the 1% COLA cut. HOWEVER, this is not yet a done deal since an offset to pay for the fix has not yet been identified and there is little consensus on how to pay for the repeal. So, please keep up the pressure by contacting your congressional representatives and ask them to repeal this cut as quickly as possible. You can use the MOAA Legislative Action Center website, to send a message to Sen Cornyn, Sen Cruz, and your U.S. Congressional Representative. While things are looking up for repeal of the 1% COLA cap, there are still dark clouds on the horizon regarding military compensation and retirement. The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission, which was established by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, was chartered to conduct a review of the military compensation and retirement systems and to make recommendations to modernize such systems. The due date for the commission s recommendations has been moved from May 2014 to February As a result, we still have time to influence their final recommendations. The Legislative article in our January 2014 newsletter contains additional information regarding the commission as well as a suggested letter for you to send to them to voice your opinion on this issue. You can also go to the commission s website, to find additional information and provide comments. Unfortunately, modernization in many eyes means reduced benefits. For example, Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter made the following points in his November 1, 2013 letter to the commission. I think they provide a clear view of DOD s concept of modernization : FROM THE PRESIDENT S DESK Dave Schafer MOAA s topnotch council and chapters compete annually to receive a four- or five-star Levels of Excellence Award. The very best councils and chapters receive fivestar awards. Our Chapter has been selected as a 5 Star Chapter for Mindful of the critical need to balance appropriate compensation with readiness, force structure, and investments, DoD has made multiple proposals to Congress that seek to slow the growth in costs of military pay and benefits while still supporting the All- Volunteer Force. In our FY 2014 budget proposal, we continue to make proposals that provide guidance in areas that are of greatest interest to DoD with regard to military pay and benefits: Limiting the FY 2014 pay raise to 1%; implementing increases in TRICARE enrollment fees, deductibles, and co-pays; and making further adjustments to pharmacy co-pays. We also proposed modest increases in enrollment fees for TRICARE, which included indexing of the fees to a health care index. The commission and their recommendations are going to be important issues that need to be closely watched throughout According to an Army Times article, The commission could trigger historic changes to military pay and benefits system and With personnel costs coming under growing pressure amid declining defense budgets, the commission s work could lead to major changes to the way the all-volunteer force is paid. The article also states, Changes to military retirement are at the center of the commission s focus and Congress created the panel to help create momentum for changes that will be complex and politically sensitive. Many of us lived through previous attempts to modernize military compensation and benefits and know firsthand the disastrous affect they had on national defense. Let the commission know of your experiences and watch for breaking news from MOAA National and the chapter. Upcoming Events: February 25, 2014 Luncheon Meeting See Page 5 April 22,2014 Luncheon Meeting See Page 6
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3 Volume: Twenty Seven Number Two February 2014 Page 3 SAGE SURVIVOR BY NANCY SODEMAN The Consumer Action Handbook provided by the General Services Administration s (GSA) Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, is an invaluable source I have used for many years. The Consumer Action Handbook was first released in 1979 and has long been one of the most helpful and popular consumer publications of the federal government. This handbook has four parts: PART I BE A SAVVY CONSUMER provides advice before you make a purchase. PART II FILING A COMPLAINT offers suggestions on resolving consumer problems along with a sample complaint letter. PART III KEY INFORMATION RESOURCES has a list of public resources and contact information. PART IV CONSUMER ASSISTANCE DIRECTORY find contact information for corporate offices, consumer organizations, trade groups, government agencies, and more. The categories covered include; banking, cars, credit, financing education, employment, food and nutrition, going green, healthcare, housing, insurance, investing, protecting your privacy, telecommunications, telemarketing and unwanted mail, travel, utilities, and wills and funerals. I suggest you read the Buyer Beware information included in Be A Savvy Consumer. Drip pricing is a practice of not disclosing all the fees in the cost of the product or service. This happens when the mandatory fees are not listed in the advertised price and only disclosed at the end of the purchasing process. Also addressed in this section is fraud and scams, service contracts and extended warranties, product safety recalls and online and group coupons. With the recent credit and debit card breaches at Target and Macy s, the sections on Banking, Credit Cards and Protecting your Privacy are timely. An example under Protecting your Privacy: If your identity has been stolen, you can use an ID Theft affidavit to report the theft to most of the parties involved. All three credit bureaus and many major creditors accept the affidavit. Request a copy of the document by calling toll-free ID-THEFT ( ) or visit You can also use this website to file a complaint with the FTC. The ID Theft affidavit is sure to save you time and assist you in sending the information quickly to the credit bureaus. (EDITORS NOTE: LEGISLATIVE ARTICLE CONTINUED ON PAGE 6) CHAPLAIN S CORNER BY DOTTIE ALDER When we think of February, we often think of hearts and flowers. I want to tell you about another kind of love story that I got in the mail. Jake lived in an orphanage with nine other young boys. Times were hard. Once a year each boy received a special gift. It was a sweet juicy orange. How the boys looked forward to that orange. It was coveted like nothing else. Each boy would save his orange for several days, admiring it, feeling it, smelling it, loving it, and contemplating the moment he would eat it. At this time Jake had started a fight. He broke the rules, and for punishment he would not get his orange. Nighttime came and Jake felt so alone and sobbed silently into his pillow. He would have no orange to savor like the other boys. Jake was startled when a small, soft hand was on his shoulder. He felt an object being shoved in his hands. The child disappeared in the dark. Jake looked at the gift wrapped in a piece of cloth. To his amazement, he discovered a strange looking orange...an orange made from segments of nine other oranges...nine highly prized oranges that had to be eaten that day instead of saved, admired, and cherished until a later date. Jesus said "love your neighbor as yourself" MT2:38 MEMBERSHIP The 2014 membership renewal campaign is complete! I want to thank everyone for their prompt and supportive response to this year s campaign. We started 2013 with 303 members and ended the year with 358 members, an increase of 55 members. During the renewal campaign, we found 15 members had moved and 3 members had passed away. This reduced our baseline for 2014 renewals to 340 members. I am happy to report we were able to renew 326 members, a renewal rate of 96%! Only 14 members declined to renew for Your prompt response to the campaign will enable us to meet the deadline for reporting our 2014 membership to MOAA National by February 1 st. Another benefit of completing the renewal campaign is that the 2014 Membership Directory will be completed a month earlier than last year. The directory will sent to the printer in late February and mailed to each member in early March. Finally, I want to thank everyone who donated to the scholarship fund. We received donations totaling $3,185. This will enable us to award up to four $1,000 scholarships to JROTC cadets this year. See page 8 for special thanks to the members who donated $100 or more to the scholarship fund. They are recognized as President s Club donators on our web site: scholarship.html
4 Volume: Twenty Seven Number Two February 2014 Page 4 LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY FEBRUARY 2014 UPDATE BY PAUL HENDRICKS 2014 MOAA Legislative Goals The January Military Officer magazine provides a comprehensive summary of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) Top 10 Legislative Goals for The list targets issues cited by MOAA that must be addressed at both national and local levels to protect pay, force levels, retirement, and health care for active duty service members and their families as well as retiree benefits. The information below is an abstract of the issues that will be addressed by both your MOAA Washington DC representatives as well as your local Greater Dallas Chapter Legislative Committee. You are encouraged to review the detailed article 2014 Goals in the January issue of the Military Officer magazine. Also, recommend you subscribe to MOAA s weekly Legislative Update at MOAA Top 10 Goals Sustain military pay compatibility with the private sector. Plans and resources need to be in place to maintain sufficient manpower, replace and upgrade weapon systems and equipment that have been stressed by the multiple years of war. Pending and unbalanced budget cuts will increase the burden for remaining troops while potentially increasing risks on our nation to address contingencies. Block disproportional TRICARE fee hikes. MOAA recognizes military is unique and essential to the military career. Increases in military beneficiaries health care fee should not exceed the percentage increase in their military compensation. MOAA will resist proposals to dramatically increase copayments, and bar retirees from participation in TRICARE Prime. Sustain force levels to meet mission needs. Although military operational demands are easing, sequestration driven force reductions may reduce end strength resources too low to address national security demands. Adequate and sufficient manpower levels and resources are essential to meet future needs. Prevent Medicare/TRICARE payment cuts. Medicare and TRICARE payment levels are already less than most commercial insurance. Further payment cuts will continue to deter providers from accepting military beneficiary payments. MOAA will continue to resist further Medicare and TRICARE payment reductions. Protect military retirement/colas. Proposals to cap annual COLAs below inflation or to redefine the Consumer Price Index with the purpose of depressing successive annual adjustments would repeal long-standing commitments. MOAA will make every effort to preserve the congressional intent to provide every military retired member the same purchasing power of the retired pay to which he was entitled at the time of retirements Protect wounded warriors and caregivers. MOAA will continue to support a system that ensures seamless care and services for wounded warriors, their families and caregivers. End disabled/survivor financial penalties. MOAA will fight for the repeal of the deduction of VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation from Survivor Benefit Plans. Fix Guard/Reserve retirement. MOAA supports enactment of a comprehensive reserve retirement system based on an age and service formula. Improve spouse and family support. Recognizing the need for military family support, MOAA will work to ensure necessary quality of life services are available across all components and communities. Eliminate the VA claims backlog and improve claims processing. MOAA continues to support digitizing records and improved processes to reduce the backlog of VA claims. Your Legislative Team has been working throughout the year with our US Senators, Representatives and their staffs with the objective to promulgate the MOAA issues and concerns. We are now in the process of expanding our efforts to also address these concerns to Texas legislators and their staff members. We also plan to expand the power of our team by recruiting additional team members to fully represent all military components and members of sister military advocate organizations. Members from the Greater Dallas Chapter in the picture are: Standing second from left: COL Sam Wilder, USA Retired, MOAA- GDC Legislative Committee Standing third from right: CAPT Bruce Hamilton, USN Retired, MOAA Board of Directors Standing second from right: Lt Col Dave Schafer, USAF Retired, MOAA-GDC President Seated first on left: Maj Gen KC McClain, USAF Retired, MOAA Board of Directors
5 Volume: Twenty Seven Number Two February 2014 Page 5 Talk About a Hollywood Success Story! Please join us for a special guest speaker Burton Gilliam February 25, 2014 The Park City Club 5956 Sherry Lane, 17th Floor Dallas, Texas Phone: (214) Imagine being plucked from the relatively obscure but satisfying life of a 14 year veteran Dallas firefighter/golden Gloves boxing champion and being cast in two Academy Award-winning films in a row! Incredible and that is exactly how you would describe the acting career of Burton Gilliam INCREDIBLE! From Paper Moon, Blazing Saddles, Honeymoon In Vegas, Fletch, Back to the Future III, and 46 other films, Burton has worked with heavyweights Mel Brooks, Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Gene Wilder, Harvey Korman, Madeline Kahn, James Stewart, Roy Rogers, Nicolas Cage, Burt Reynolds, Andy Griffith, Jeff Bridges, Hilary Swank, Chevy Chase, Richard Chamberlain, Blythe Danner, Alan Arkin, Patty Duke, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alec Baldwin, Michael J. Fox, Willie Nelson, James Caan, Charles Bronson and many more. Please send your reservations early to ensure we can make an accurate and timely reservation count. Mail the reservation coupon to Beverly Thompson, Beverly at or reserve online at You may call Beverly at (972) MOAA-GDC now accepts PayPal for paying for your luncheon at our website which allows you to pay by credit card. We would appreciate you also filling out the RSVP form and checking your type of payment at the website. V.W.I.N By Nancy Ruthford Sodeman Visit V.W.I.N.'s national site for information on Mesothelioma. One third of all mesothelioma patients are veterans, and approximately 6,000 veterans afflicted with this asbestos-caused cancer died between 1999 and 2005 alone. The reason this cancer targets so many veterans is because of the prevalence of asbestos use in the military in the past. Part of V.W.I.N.'s mission is to spread awareness to veterans and their families. The Mesothelioma Guide website (http://www.mesotheliomaguide.com) offers free veteran specific resources and support for patients and families. Survivors and dependents of a veteran who had mesothelioma can apply for these benefits, which are accessible through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (www.va.gov). Join Veterans Widows/ers International Network, Inc. Send $18 to VWIN and send to P.O. Box Aurora, CO is sent to the membership to include, meeting information, legislative alerts. and other information related to MOAA-GDC and its members If you are not receiving these messages please
6 Volume: Twenty Seven Number Two February 2014 Page 6 SAGE SURVIVOR ARTICLE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 Additional information is provided for individual states. For example: State Offices Texas Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Division PO Box Austin, TX Toll free: Regional Offices Office of the Attorney General Dallas Region Consumer Protection Division 1412 Main St., Suite 810 Dallas, TX Toll free: (TX) Single copies of the current Consumer Action Handbook are available by writing Handbook, Federal Citizen Information Center, Pueblo, CO The Handbook can also be viewed and ordered online at USA.gov/consumer. The 2013 Consumer Action Handbook will be current through summer To place your name on a mailing list to receive the 2014 Handbook, please mail your request to the address listed above. For regularly updated consumer information, visit the Consumer Action website at USA.gov/consumer. UPCOMING EVENTS April 22, 2014 Luncheon Meeting - Speaker Dub Gillum Senior Trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety. Dub Gillum is a Senior Trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety. He currently serves as the Public Information & Safety Education Officer and the Emergency Management Coordinator in the Texas Highway Patrol. He has been stationed in Granbury for the past 24 years. Trooper Gillum Graduated form the University of Texas with a Business Communications degree. He holds a Master Peace Officer Certification, and is a Certified Police Instructor. Trooper Gillum enjoys teaching Police Officers and Citizens in the State of Texas about many different aspects of Safety and Education Programs such as Drug and Alcohol Awareness, Traffic Safety, Occupant Protection and Police Officer Survival. Dub has been happily married for 27 years to his wife Karen, and has two beautiful daughters. PERSONAL AFFAIRS BY WALLY WILLIAMSON TRICARE Hospice Care If you or another TRICARE-eligible family member is faced with a terminal illness, hospice care is available from TRICARE. Hospice care emphasizes palliative care (supportive services such as pain management), rather than cure-oriented treatment, for patients with life expectancies of six months or less. The benefit allows for personal care and home health aide services, which are otherwise limited under TRICARE s basic program options. TRICARE covers hospice care in the United States, District of Columbia and U.S. Territories under the following guidelines: The patient, primary physician or authorized family can initiate hospice care. Hospice care will only start with a doctor's order. The patient must complete an "election statement" and file it with the regional contractor. Four levels of care are covered by the hospice benefit: routine home care, continuous home care, inpatient respite care, and general inpatient care. The hospice care team and the patient s doctor will manage the hospice care. Hospice patients may shift among the levels of care depending on their needs, the needs of family members caring for them, and the determinations of the medical team managing their care. The hospice care team evaluates and manages changes in the levels of care. All care is subject to medical review by the regional contractor. For more information visit:
7 Volume: Twenty Seven Number Two February 2014 Page Meetings February 25 April 22 June 24 August 26 October 28 December TBD Reservation for the February 25, 2014 Tuesday Luncheon Meeting The Park City Club 5956 Sherry Lane, 17th Floor Dallas, Texas Phone: (214) Social 11:00 AM Buffet Opens 11:15 AM Meeting 12:00 Noon Person's at $25.00 each Check enclosed $ payable to MOAA - Greater Dallas Chapter MAIL RESERVATION TO: BEVERLY THOMPSON P.O. Box 1494 Red Oak, TX Please print name's below exactly as you wish you name badge's to read: (Spouse/Guest) Need a ride? Give a ride? If yes, your ZIP code If yes, your ZIP code CHAPTER OFFICERS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OFFICERS Phone PRESIDENT David J. Schafer, LtCol USAF (Ret) (214) PRESIDENT ELECT William F. Lavallee, CAPT USN (Ret) (972) VICE PRESIDENT MEMBERSHIP David J. Schafer, LtCol USAF (Ret) (214) VICE PRESIDENT LEGISLATIVE James R. Brown Lt Col USAFR (Ret) (972) VICE PRESIDENT PROGRAMS Beverly Thompson, Auxiliary (972) EDITOR The Reporter William Hill, LCDR, USN, (Ret) (214) SECRETARY Kent Shields LtCol USAF, (Ret) (214) TREASURER David C. Briggs, Col. AUS (Ret) (214) CHAPLAIN Dottie Alder, Auxiliary (972) LEGAL COUNSEL David C. Briggs, Col. AUS (Ret) (214) MILITARY COMMUNITY SERVICE COMMITTEE OPEN Kay C. (KC) McClain, Maj Gen, USAF Retired Charles Gibbs, Col USAF, Retired Sam Wilder, COL USA Retired APPOINTED MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (972) (972) (804) Terri Jones, Lt Col USAF Retired Lloyd Lietz, LTC USA Retired Paul Pfrommer, LtCol USAF Retired DISTRIBUTION Sharon Hill WEBMASTER Sharon Hill (214) (214) See the website for the complete listing of committee chairs and external organization representatives. MOAA GDC THE REPORTER is published monthly by the MOAA-Greater Dallas Chapter for the information and benefit of its members. Members are encouraged to submit letters and articles for publication to: Bill Hill 8358 San Leandro Drive Dallas, TX The MOAA-Greater Dallas Chapter is a nonprofit organization chartered on October 28, Annual dues are $20.00 for members and $10.00 for auxiliary members.
8 GREATER DALLAS CHAPTER P.O. BOX 7692, INWOOD STATION DALLAS, TX JROTC Scholarship Donations $100 or more MAJ Donna Abrokwa USAR LTC David Blakeley USA (RET) Lt Gen John Campbell USAF (RET) CDR Richard Dunstan USN (RET) LCDR William Gasperetti USNR (RET) Lt Col Paul Hendricks USAF (RET) Mrs. Patti Henry-Pinch Auxiliary LTC Russell Hooper USA (RET) COL DR Dean Hudson USA (RET) Mrs. Loana Humphreys Auxiliary Mrs. Marcella Kimmick Auxiliary Col Paul Koeltzow USAF (RET) Lt Col John Lampton USAF (RET) Col Douglas Lord USAFR (RET) LTC Louis Mallia USA (RET) Mrs. Patricia Pritchard Auxiliary Lt Col David Schafer USAF (RET) Lt Col John Tower USAFR (RET) Col Bobby Waddle USAF (RET) MAJ Walter Williamson USA (RET)