RESOLUTION NO. 41 -- LEGISLATION TO CHANGE TITLE 10 SUBSECTION 1074
WHEREAS, military personnel who entered service before June 7, 1956 earned “free health care” upon retirement from the armed services for themselves and their dependents, NOW; THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA) supports legislation to change Title 10 subsection 1074 to provide the earned “health care” to military retirees and their dependents as originally promised.
RESOLUTION NO. 42 -- WAIVER FOR ENROLLMENT IN MEDICARE PART B - COMPLETE
WHEREAS, Military retirees were encouraged not to enroll in MEDICARE Part B due to the availability of “space available” health care and now are penalized for not enrolling, NOW; THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA) supports legislation to “waive the penalty” for late enrollment in MEDICARE Part B so that military retirees may qualify for TRICARE FOR LIFE.
RESOLUTION NO. 43 -- TRICARE PRIME PROGRAM - COMPLETE
WHEREAS, retired military personnel and their dependents continue to see access to Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) hampered by base closures, NOW; THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA) strongly supports a TRICARE Prime Program be established in appropriate catchment areas prior to the closing of any MTF.
RESOLUTION NO. 44 - DELETED
RESOLUTION NO. 45 -- BURIAL OF RETIRED RESERVE AND GUARD AT ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
WHEREAS, Arlington National Cemetery has been a final resting place for American’s military heroes for over a century, and; WHEREAS, burial space at Arlington National Cemetery is limited, and; WHEREAS, restrictions have been placed on those eligible for burial at Arlington National Cemetery to the point where some veterans can only be interred in the Columbariums, and; WHEREAS, Arlington National Cemetery should remain a place of honor for military heroes, NOW; THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA) believes that all retired members of the Reserve/Guard components of the United States should be eligible for burial in Arlington National Cemetery without regard to age.
RESOLUTION NO. 46 -- CREATING A POSITION OF ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR RETIREE VETERANS AFFAIRS
WHEREAS, there are almost one million military retirees drawing retirement entitlements from the Department of Defense, and; WHEREAS, there are several Assistant Secretary’s of Defense, one for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence; one for Legislative Affairs; one for Public Affairs, and one for Reserve Affairs, and; WHEREAS, retiree affairs should be elevated to its proper level of importance within the Department of Defense to protect and monitor the almost 200 billion dollar Military Retirement Trust Fund, and; WHEREAS, the Department of Defense has continually overlooked military retirees in the past, one example being their lack of support for the concurrent receipt issue which currently denies approximately 437,000 military retires their earned retirement pay, and; WHEREAS, military retiree entitlements and veteran benefits issues are two entirely separate issues that need to be managed separately since clearly while all military retirees are veterans, most veterans are not military retirees and thus are not the responsibility of DOD, and; THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, The Retired Enlisted Association urges the United States Congress and the President of the United States to authorize an Assistant Secretary of Defense for Retiree Affairs.
RESOLUTION NO. 47 -- DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ENROLLMENT PRIORITY CATEGORIES
WHEREAS, Public Law 104-262, Veterans’ Health Care Eligibility Reform Act of 1996 was signed on October 9, 1996; and, WHEREAS, the final rule in 38 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR), Subsection 17.36 included Noncompensable zero percent service connected veterans in category 7; and, WHEREAS, the General Accounting Office (GAO) stated in testimony on May 14, 2002 before the Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs and International Relations, Committee on Government Reform, House of Representatives “To improve its network workload, VERA (Veterans Equitable Resource Allocation) should account for all veteran workload served, including Priority 7 veterans, who have higher incomes and no service-connected disabilities”; and, WHEREAS, Priority 7 Noncompensable zero percent service connected veterans (many are military retirees) do have service connected disabilities; NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by The Retired Enlisted Association to pursue legislation to amend 38 United States Code (USC) Section 1705 and 38 CFR 17.36 to include Noncompensable zero percent service connected veterans in category 6.
RESOLUTION NO. 48 -- CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW VA H OSPITAL IN PUERTO RICO
WHEREAS, citizens of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico have served honorably in the defense of the United States of America through their service in all branches of the armed forces and; WHEREAS, the Department of Veterans Affairs has deemed the San Juan VA Medical Center to be seismically unsafe, and; WHEREAS, a study has been done to determine the cost of bringing the current facility up to acceptable standards and determined this to be unfeasible, and; WHEREAS, this medical center services a population of approximately 150,883 veterans in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and; WHEREAS, the recent designation of the San Juan VA Medical Center as a National Medical System Federal Coordinating Facility and Primary Receiving Hospital in the VA/DOD contingency plan, and; WHEREAS, the San Juan VAMC has the highest utilization rate of any VA facility in the VA Medical System, and; BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, The Retired Enlisted Association supports the building of a new VA Medical Facility in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
RESOLUTION NO. 49 -- SUPPORT LEGISLATION TO ALLOW ALL VETERANS TO RECOVER AMOUNTS WITHHELD AS TAX ON DISABILITY SEVERANCE PAY
WHEREAS, money received as a result of personal injury or disability is not taxable; and WHEREAS, disability severance pay is paid to a military member as a result of injury or disease suffered during military service; and WHEREAS, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has, and continues to, tax military disability severance pay as regular income; and WHEREAS, a United States District Court has held that military disability severance pay is nontaxable income; and WHEREAS, the IRS has acquiesced in the District Court holding; and WHEREAS, the three-year statute of limitations prevents veterans who have been discharged for more than three years from recovering the nontaxable money withheld by the IRS; NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that TREA strongly supports legislation, which would allow all veterans to recover nontaxable income withheld from their disability severance pay, notwithstanding the three-year statute of limitations, which would otherwise prevent such recovery.
RESOLUTION NO. 50 -- SUPPORT LEGISLATION TO MAKE VA HEALTH CARE FUNDING FULLY FUNDED
WHEREAS, the funding for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care under the Federal budget is a discretionary program, meaning that it is within the discretion of Congress to determine how much money it will allocate each year for veterans’ medical care; and WHEREAS, title 38, United States Code, section 1710(a), provides that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs “shall” furnish hospital care and medical services, but only to the extent Congress has provided money to cover the costs of the care; and WHEREAS, The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA), firmly believes that service-connected disabled veterans have earned the right to VA medical care through their extraordinary sacrifices and service to this nation; and WHEREAS, TREA, along with the other Veterans Service Organizations (i.e. VFW, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans), has fought for sufficient funding for VA health care and a budget that is reflective of the rising cost of health care and increasing need for medical services; and
WHEREAS, despite our continued efforts, the cumulative effects of insufficient health care funding have now resulted in the rationing of health care; and WHEREAS, VA reports that is has now reached capacity at many of its health care facilities; and WHEREAS, VA is unable to provide timely access to quality health care to many of our Nation’s most severely disabled service-connected veterans; and WHEREAS, it is disingenuous for our government to promise health care to veterans, but then make it unattainable because of inadequate funding; and WHEREAS, making veterans’ health care funding mandatory would ensure the government meets it obligation to provide health care to service-connected disabled veterans and ensure all veterans eligible for care in the VA health care system have access to timely quality health care; and WHEREAS, making veterans’ health care funding mandatory would eliminate the year-to-year uncertainties about funding levels that have prevented VA from being able to adequately plan for and meet the constantly growing number of veterans seeking treatment, and WHEREAS, by including all veterans currently eligible and enrolled for care in the mandatory health care funding proposal, we protect the overall viability of the system and the specialized programs VA has developed to improve the health and well-being of our nation’s service-connected disabled veterans; NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, The Retired Enlisted Association supports legislation to make VA health care funding mandatory and fully funded, thereby guaranteeing Congress provide sufficient resources to cover the expenses of the veterans’ health care program.
RESOLUTION NO. 51 - DELETED
RESOLUTION NO. 52 -- OPPOSE RECOMMENDATION THAT MILITARY RETIRED VETERANS BE PROHIBITED FROM RECEIVING HEALTH CARE FROM BOTH DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AND DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS FACILITIES
WHEREAS, military retired veterans were promised and earned lifetime health care throughout the Department of Defense for completion of the required period of military service; and WHEREAS, as veterans, are separately entitled to the same health care provided to eligible veterans generally throughout the Department of Veterans Affairs; and WHEREAS, each of the two health care systems may offer advantages that the other does not offer; and WHEREAS, a veteran’s use of this dual entitlement to receive the best services of both systems does not constitute unnecessary duplicate use of health care services or duplication of costs to the Government; and WHEREAS, prohibiting the military retired veteran who used Department of Defense health care facilities from using Department of Veterans Affairs facilities treats that veteran less favorably than other similarly situated veterans who have complete access to Department of Veterans Affairs health care; NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA) opposes any action to decrease the health care eligibility owed military retired veterans throughout the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
RESOLUTION NO. 53 -- SUPPORT LEGISLATION TO ALLOW DISABILITY RETIRED SERVICEMEMBERS TO RECEIVE CREDIT FOR YEARS OF MILITARY SERVICE IN CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT
WHEREAS, military personnel who receive a disability retirement deserve the full benefits of their disability retirement, even if not injured from an instrument of war; and WHEREAS, men and women who are retired for disability from the military and seek employment with the Federal Government cannot count their few years of service toward civil service retirement unless they waive the receipt of disability retired pay; and
WHEREAS, retired reservists can draw retirement from civil service and the military service for the time of service rendered both the military and civil service during the same period of years without reduction to their civil service time or any requirement to waive military retired pay in order to receive civil service retirement and can count their military active service time toward civil service retirement; and WHEREAS, the Reserve and National Guard personnel can and do receive credit for many years of active duty service time, draw severance pay for up to a full year of their active duty military pay, then elect to join the military Reserves or National Guard and concurrently work for the civil service; and are allowed to count their years of active military service toward civil service and military reserve/guard retirement; and WHEREAS, ex-servicemen and women who only draw Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) compensation for their service-connected disability can receive both the VA compensation and civil service retirement pay without waiver of one for the other, and WHEREAS, equity should dictate that ex-service personnel who were disabled with less than 10 years of service and who were retired because of their service-connected disabilities (not for length of service) should be allowed to draw military retirement and count those years toward their civil service retirement the same way those active duty personnel who were forced to retire, after many years of active service, the military reservist/guard units can count the same time for retirement from the reserves/guard and civil service; NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA) supports legislation to change the law which now prohibits disabled military retirees, disabled from any cause except willful misconduct, and who served during a period of declared national emergency, war or police action, to be entitled to count their service time towards both civil service retirement and Ready Reserve or National Guard retirements.
RESOLUTION NO. 54 -- SUPPORT LEGISLATION TO ENSURE THAT MILITARY RETIREES RECEIVE ALL BENEFITS WHICH WERE PROMISED THEM WHEN THEY ENTERED THE ARMED FORCES
WHEREAS, men and women who enter military service set aside their personal lives, goals, and opportunities to wear the uniform and bear the burdens of our Nation’s defense; and WHEREAS, these men and women were promised certain benefits, such as free medical and dental care for life, full retired pay based on longevity of service, and other benefits, to entice them to remain in the military and make it a career; and WHEREAS, our Government has reneged on many of its promises to provide these benefits to military retirees; and WHEREAS, our Nation has a compelling moral duty to honor its pledges to military retirees; NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA) supports legislation to require our Government to provide all military retirees, regardless of service entry date, with medical, dental, and other benefits promised them.
RESOLUTION NO. 55 -- LOWER THE AGE WHEN NATIONAL GUARD AND RESERVE RETIREES QUALIFY TO START COLLECTING THEIR MILITARY RETIRED PAY
WHEREAS the members of the National Guard and the United States Reserves are a crucial and essential part of the United States military and the Nation’s ability to assure combat readiness; and WHEREAS the members of the National Guard and Reserve are being called upon to spend more and more time in active service, illustrated by the fact that at the present time a full 40% of those serving in Iraq are in the Guard and Reserve; and
WHEREAS the required years of service are cutting into both the promotions possible in the members’ civilian careers and their ability to contribute to their civilian retirement plans; and WHEREAS it is imperative that the government make it feasible for members of the Guard and Reserve to continue to serve without destroying the members’ ability to plan for their own and their families’ retirements THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, The Retired Enlisted Association strongly urges that the age when a National Guard and Reserve retiree can start collecting their retired pay and be eligible for all other retiree benefits be dropped from 60 to 55 years of age.
RESOLUTION NO. 56 -- INCREASE THE EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS UNDER THE NATIONAL GUARD AND RESERVE MONTGOMERY GI BILL
WHEREAS members of the National Guard and Reserves are a necessary and crucial part of the United State’s military force structure and an essential part of military readiness; and WHEREAS one of the most important benefits to members of the National Guard and Reserves is the Reserve Montgomery GI Bill; and WHEREAS when the Reserve MGIB was begun the Reserve monthly rates were 47% of the Active Duty MGIB rates; and WHEREAS throughout the years a disparity has grown between the Active Duty and Reserve plans and at the present time the Reserve benefits are merely 27% of the Active Duty benefits; and WHEREAS a fair and robust educational education benefit is essential if the National Guard and Reserve will continue to attract and retain the finest men and women in the National Guard and Reserves; THERFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Retired Enlisted Association urges that the monthly benefits of the Reserve Montgomery GI Bill be statutorily set at 47% of the Active Duty Montgomery GI Bill’s monthly rates.
RESOLUTION NO. 57 -- ALLOW MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL GUARD AND RESERVES TO BUY INTO TRICARE FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES
WHEREAS the members of U.S. National Guard and Reserves are a crucial part of the United States military and a crucial component of our military readiness; and WHEREAS numerous members of the Guard and Reserve and their families have no civilian health care insurance or are underinsured; and WHEREAS numerous members of the National Guard and Reserves are being found not to be medically ready when they are called up for active duty; and WHEREAS medical readiness is an essential requirement to our nation’s military readiness; and WHEREAS National Guard and Reserve families are confronting serious problems when going from civilian health insurance plans to TRICARE and back again; and
WHEREAS civilian employers presently facing serious increases in the civilian health care plans they are providing to their employees, should be encouraged to hire members of National Guard and Reserves; THEREFORE IT IS RESOLVED, that The Retired Enlisted Association urges that members of the National Guard and Reserves be allowed to buy into TRICARE for themselves and their families at the rate of the Department of Defense paying 72% of the costs and the member (or his civilian employer on his or her behalf) paying the remaining 28%.
RESOLUTION NO. 58 -- IMPROVE NON PAY RETIREMENT BENEFITS OF THE NATIONAL GUARD AND RESERVE
WHEREAS the members of the National Guard and the United States Reserves are a crucial and essential part of the United States military and the Nation’s ability to assure combat readiness; and WHEREAS the unity of the combined forces of the United States Military is critical to the military’s ability to fulfill its obligation to the nation. WHEREAS the members of the National Guard and Reserve are subject to mobilization and combat identical to active components of the United States Military; and WHEREAS the members of the National Guard and Reserve are being called upon to spend more and more time in active service, illustrated by the fact that at the present time a full 40% of those serving in Iraq are in the Guard and Reserve; and WHEREAS the physical requirements for participation in the National Guard and United States Reserves are the same as active components of the United States Military; and WHEREAS the required years of service are cutting into both the promotions possible in the members’ civilian careers and their ability to contribute to their civilian retirement plans; and WHEREAS it is imperative that the government make it feasible for members of the Guard and Reserve to continue to serve without destroying the members’ ability to plan for their own and their families’ retirements. THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, The Retired Enlisted Association strongly urges removal of disparities between active duty and reserve forces by making all non-pay retirement benefits for National Guard and Reserve forces start at retirement eligibility on completion of 20 years of service, instead of on receipt of retirement pay.
RESOLUTION NO. 59 -- RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT A SHEET OF COMMEMORATIVE STAMPS HONORING AMERICAN VETERAN SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS AND MILITARY/VETERAN ORGANIZATIONS
WHEREAS the work of the Veteran Service Organizations and Military/Veteran Organizations allow the needs and the voices of the Military-the active duty, members of the National Guard and Reserve, the Military Retirees, the Veterans and all their families and survivors to be heard by the U.S. Government and the Nation; and WHEREAS it is critical for the public to know of the VSOs and MVOs operating in the country; and
WHEREAS it is appropriate for the U.S. Postal Service to honor such organizations, their work and members THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, The Retired Enlisted Association strongly urges the U.S. Postal Service to create a sheet of first class stamps bearing the insignia of the Nation’s Veteran Service and Military Retiree Organizations.
RESOLUTION NO. 60 – AMEND THE SELECTIVE SERVICE LAW FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO CAN SERVE ON ALL LOCAL, DISTRICT, AND NATIONAL APPEAL BOARDS OF THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM.
WHEREAS, the Selective Service laws sets forth the following common requirements for individuals who serve on all Local Boards, and District and National Appeal Boards of the Selective Service system. Board members must be citizens of the United States; at least 18 years of age; not an active or retired member of the Armed Forces or any reserve component of the Armed Forces; able to devote sufficient time to board affairs; and willing to fairly and uniformly apply Selective Service law, regulations, and procedures. WHEREAS, this law prohibits retired military personnel from serving on local draft boards for reasons that assume retired military personnel cannot be fair or devote sufficient time to board affairs is not truly reflective of our retirees. WHEREAS, retired military personnel are best suited to determine a prospective draftee’s abilities and suitability for military service than other non-retired military personnel. THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the The Retired Enlisted Association work with legislators in Washington to draft and champion legislation that would change this portion of the law.
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