Archives for category: TRICARE

I’ve never been one to say that military benefits are inadequate. Just stick with whatever was offered when people signed up to stay on for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and we’re good.

Defense Commissary Agency – trying to explain themselves:

Where did my coffee go?

A large number of comments have been posted in response on the Defense Commissary Agency Facebook page. Real people who aren’t paid by the federal government to post articles and comments aren’t having it.

Many comments about Cooper cheese and why it’s gone. The article posted by DeCA says items are removed if they are slow to sell?

View comments here.

The plan is to save money by defunding the commissaries. Less people will want to shop there after the transition, then we’ll have the numbers to show that it makes no sense to continue to support funding for the commissaries.

 

Recommendation for budget savings:

Phase out ongoing undeclared/unwon wars overseas.

The Department of Defense track record for winning undeclared wars goes back to 1949.

 

 

Don’t miss our companion blog- found here: Old Man Blog

Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yeomalt

 

 

 

Photo- A symbol of Support The Troops Nonsense & federal government credibility

 

I’ve never been one to say that military benefits are inadequate. Just stick with whatever was offered when people signed up to stay on for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and we’re good.

Over the past few months, things have gone downhill.

DeCA can’t keep the shelves stocked. A year ago- things were good. Not anymore.

The plan is to save money by defunding the commissaries. Less people will want to shop there after the transition, then we’ll have the numbers to show that it makes no sense to continue to support funding for the commissaries.

Message sent by DeCA to The Troops:

Not seeing any “this offer expires on” date here.

 

 

DFAS can’t mail out IRS Form 1095. No problem with this a year ago.

Extended time on hold with DFAS to request 1095 form results in being transferred to TRICARE. Message during TRICARE holding time tells us to contact DFAS. After another extended time on hold, TRICARE says they are unable to send out the form because of some sort of problem with their system. No attempt is made to update web sites so people will know what to expect or to reduce phone calls.

Each one of these agencies maintains a Facebook page. It’s easy to post comments there, and people are letting them know how things are going.

Recommendation for budget savings:

Phase out ongoing undeclared/unwon wars overseas.

The Department of Defense track record for winning undeclared wars goes back to 1949.

 

Don’t miss our companion blog- found here: Old Man Blog

Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yeomalt

 

 

 

Photo- A symbol of Support The Troops Nonsense & federal government credibility

 

A situation on Dec 8th, caused me to contact my US Senators.

A reply came today.

Response from Senator Murray

Dear Mr. Potential Voter:

Thank you for contacting me regarding TRICARE. I appreciate having the benefit of your views on this matter.

The views of Washingtonians are very important to my work. I will keep your thoughts in mind, and I encourage you to stay in touch. If you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please feel free to sign up for my weekly updates at http://murray.senate.gov/updates. Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

Sincerely,

Patty Murray
United States Senator

 

Dec 22nd, 2017

Dear Mr. Potential Voter,

Thank you for contacting me regarding TRICARE fees. I appreciate having your input on this important issue.

I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind as I continue to work here in the Senate during the 115th Congress. It is important to me that the many voices of Washington State are being heard, and I encourage you to stay in touch.

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,
Maria Cantwell
United States Senator

For future correspondence with my office, please visit my website at
http://cantwell.senate.gov/contact/

 

Dec 30th, 2017 update:

From comments:

“long story short the lady didn’t have a clue & told my wife if we didn’t pay the annual fee by the deadline, we’d lose our insurance. Now I’ve got to get all my documentation together & write a letter to my worthless congress member.

and folks wonder why some vets go off the deep end.”

Still not enough undeclared/unwon wars to get it right.

 

 

Senator Cantwell,

Yesterday-

TRICARE West has changed contractors again.

Normally I would pay annual fees in Sept. This year- I was only able to pay for the last 3 months of the year while they transitioned to the new provider.

Billing statement recently arrived in the mail. Would love to mail in a check and have all this taken care of. Same way I prefer to pay many other bills.

TRICARE billing statement says- “Checks are not accepted…”

Called Pay by phone 1-844-866-9378 to pay with credit card.

Sorry- system is down & we cannot accept payments.

“There will be a grace period after the first of the year for payments.”

You mean the system might be down for weeks to come?

Yes.

Today-

Called TRICARE again to attempt annual payment using credit card.

After the representative took all credit card info I was told that I must agree to an additional $20.00 fee if phone lines are busy when they attempt to credit my account.

Senator- it is 2017.

We all do business on the phone and on the web.

When we make travel reservations or order on Amazon- we do not pay an extra $20 fee if the order is botched.

Seems like we’ve had enough undeclared/unwon wars now to get this right.

Thank you,

Potential Voter

Update- 2nd call on Friday:

First call today somehow got cut off when I questioned the $20.00 fee.

Talked to a different customer service rep who explained the $20.00 fee in a different way. She said a $20.00 fee would be charged in the case of insufficient funds- a term not normally associated with credit card transactions.

She was very courteous on the phone and explained that no credit card confirmation number could be provided today. The transaction will not actually be run for another 1 to 5 business days.

Still think it would save time for all to have the option of mailing in a check. My auto insurance company is good about this. I can mail a check anytime or drop by their office to pay. They will stop whatever they are doing to process my payment/answer questions, etc. No complaints. Life in 2017- almost 2018.

USMC Okinawa 1980

 

 

DSCN8231
John McCain calls on Donald Trump to apologize to military families

I did time in the US Unarmed Forces- I am in no way offended.
Requesting an apology based on group identity is a political stunt.

Maybe Trump will take it a step further and point out that the US is not in the habit of wining decades of undeclared wars overseas.

Maybe he’ll challenge school teachers to explain- if the wars aren’t won- how can they protect our freedom?

Maybe he’ll point out that in July of 2015 it’s not safe for Marine recruiters to wear uniforms in Hometown USA?

Marine recruiters told not to wear uniforms after attack

Welcome Home Troops

Thanks for your service

 

Don’t say things that I disagree with. If you didn’t do time in uniform you have no right to speak out. If you did time in uniform- you should see society as a group of first & second-class citizens. Those who never wore a uniform are second class citizens and their commentary should be supervised by those who once wore a uniform.

 

Senator McCain-

“I have not yet met a single 18-year-old, including my own son . . . who said, ‘Gee, I want to join the Marine Corps because of TRICARE.’ No, they joined the military because they want to serve their country.”

They didn’t sign up for TRICARE Senator McCain.

They stayed for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and kept reenlisting until they had 20 years in for TRICARE.

They could have left the armed forces to stabilize their lives Re: children in school, home ownership, a chance at decent local jobs for a two income household, family separation, getting shot at, etc.

They stayed in based on what they thought was an honest understanding of the benefits they were earning.

 

More here:

Hero?

Public school teachers- please explain.

 

Discuss on facebook here:

US Department of Credibility

or here:

Our free and independent press has stopped asking questions.

 

 

 

Photo- C-ration can opener

 

 

DSCN5012_003
I saw a pro-war meme on facebook yesterday. It shows the inside of a US military aircraft fully loaded with troops- headed out to kick some ass. Other similar posts that go around show one of several precision airstrike videos. We see the target- then, a few seconds later the building/facilities, vehicles, people on the ground are wiped out by a direct hit. This theme goes all the way back to the ’91 Gulf War- Desert Storm.

2015-

A whole lot of kicking ass going on- yet the US seems to struggle to get the upper hand- against opponents who have no modern navy, air force, etc.

 

Remember when the take down of Saddam Hussein & Osama bin Laden was big news in the War on Terror?

Listen to a top US General explain how the second try in Iraq was a success.

 

2015-

This country is so good at kicking ass- it can’t keep heroin-trafficking drug cartels out of Seattle:

DEA:

“James said western Washington might as well be the backyard for three Mexican drug cartels.”

Hey school teachers- if the wars aren’t won- how can they protect our freedom?

Young people of America- considering a career in the US Armed Forces? When you’re done sitting through years of Veterans Day assemblies– hosted by the teachers mentioned above- learn about using your whoop ass military benefits by reading comments from The Troops here.

 

More here:

Ready to kick ass

 

Discuss on facebook here:

Local reporters will not question the US Border Patrol at Port Angeles?

here: US Department of Credibility

or here:

Our free and independent press has stopped asking questions.

 

 

 

 

Photo- Early winter morning- Point Wilson

 

 

DSC_0002_005

Thanks for your service

December 3, 2014

Lawmakers agree to $100 million reduction in commissary funding

commissary

Young people- please consider avoiding a career in the US Armed Forces.

Why?

Ongoing, undeclared/unwon wars in distant lands while heroin traffickers cross into the US free of screening, scanning, pat downs, special IDs, inspection of personal items, etc.

Lies told about US foreign policy and where military service fits into our way of life.

Wasteful spending.

Federal support for veterans: American Legion, Citing Problems, Calls for Veterans Secretary to Resign

Constant proposals to play bait & switch with the traditional DOD military benefits that were used to entice people to stay for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

“…they risk a readiness crisis if they don’t take significant steps this year to slow growth in military compensation.”

Growth in compensation?

How about just letting people keep the same benefits they had when they did their first of multiple tours in Iraq or Afghanistan?

 

Recommendation-

Insert language into recruiting literature and enlistment documents stating that rules concerning benefits may change at any time & that no definite benefit package will be provided in exchange for 20 years of unrestricted worldwide service. No grandfather clause will apply. Have unit leaders refer to this disclaimer when promoting retention drives, giving re-enlistment speeches, etc.

Stop spending federal money on meaningless support the troops promotions, campaigns and VIP photo ops that are not connected in any way with public policy.

Here is a hand selected lady who was surprised (1:12) to get a phone call of support from The First Lady- even though cameras were rolling in her home when the phone rang:

Recommendations for saving:

Phase out decades of ongoing, undeclared/unwon wars overseas. Phase out the Drug War, allow U.S. farmers to answer the global demand for Industrial Hemp.

Discuss on facebook here:

US Department of Credibility

 

 

 

Photo- A symbol of freedom & federal government credibility

 

DSC_0026_007Top enlisted Marine pens open letter after testimony angers troops

Young people- please consider avoiding a career in the US Armed Forces.

Why?

Ongoing, undeclared/unwon wars in distant lands while heroin traffickers cross into the US free of screening, scanning, pat downs, special IDs, inspection of personal items, etc.

Lies told about US foreign policy and where military service fits into our way of life.

 

Wasteful spending:

Report: Pentagon to destroy $1B in ammo

Pentagon can’t account for $1.3 billion in Afghan reconstruction aid

 

Federal support for veterans: American Legion, Citing Problems, Calls for Veterans Secretary to Resign

Constant proposals to play bait & switch with the traditional DOD military benefits that were used to entice people to stay for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

“…they risk a readiness crisis if they don’t take significant steps this year to slow growth in military compensation.”

Growth in compensation?

How about just letting people keep the same benefits they had when they did their first of multiple tours in Iraq or Afghanistan?

 

Recommendation-

Insert language into recruiting literature and enlistment documents stating that rules concerning benefits may change at any time & that no definite benefit package will be provided in exchange for 20 years of unrestricted worldwide service. No grandfather clause will apply. Have unit leaders refer to this disclaimer when promoting retention drives, giving re-enlistment speeches, etc.

Stop spending federal money on meaningless support the troops promotions, campaigns and VIP photo ops that are not connected in any way with public policy.

 

Here is a hand selected lady who was surprised (1:12) to get a phone call of support from The First Lady- even though cameras were rolling in her home when the phone rang:

Recommendations for saving:

Phase out decades of ongoing, undeclared/unwon wars overseas. Phase out the Drug War, allow U.S. farmers to answer the global demand for Industrial Hemp.

Discuss on facebook here.

 

 

Photo- Foggy morning at Port Hadlock

 

brewPhoto of airman kissing POW-MIA symbol causes uproar

 

Soldiers Mugging Around Empty Casket Sparks Furor

 

Soldier flagrantly avoids flag salute, sets off online outrage

 

Losing focus & failing to render honors as the undeclared War on Terror drags on.

Maybe these sorts of images will make it easier in a political sense to cut back on the traditional DOD military benefits that were used to entice people to stay for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Healthcare benefits:

“Changes are also coming to Tricare. “We will ask retirees and some active-duty family members to pay a little more in their deductibles and co-pays,” Hagel said. Officials have not provided specific details.”

Commissaries:

“The Defense Department subsidy would drop from $1.4 billion annually to $400 million under a defense budget proposal the Obama administration plans to deliver to Congress next week, Pentagon officials announced Monday.”

Message sent by DOD to The Troops:

commissary2Not seeing any “this offer expires on” date here.

 

Recommendation-

Insert language into recruiting literature and enlistment documents stating that rules concerning benefits may change at any time & that no definite benefit package will be provided in exchange for 20 years of unrestricted worldwide service. No grandfather clause will apply. Have unit leaders refer to this disclaimer when promoting retention drives, giving re-enlistment speeches, etc.

Stop spending federal money on meaningless support the troops promotions, campaigns and VIP photo ops that are not connected in any way with public policy.

 

Here is a hand selected lady who was surprised (1:12) to get a phone call of support from The First Lady- even though cameras were rolling in her home when the phone rang:

Recommendations for saving:

Phase out decades of ongoing, undeclared wars overseas. Phase out the Drug War, allow U.S. farmers to answer the global demand for Industrial Hemp.

Discuss on facebook here.

 

 

Photo- Illegal beer drinking at Kingston

 

DSC_0002_005DOD-

“All military retirements are protected from inflation by annual Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs), based on changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as measured by the Deparment of Labor.”

 

“Under the proposal, a sergeant first class in the Army who qualifies for retirement at 20 years of service at age 40, and who has most likely deployed multiple times to war, could lose approximately $72,000 between retirement and turning age 62.”

These are the traditional DOD military benefits that were used to entice people to stay for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Welcome Home Troops

Thanks for your service

 

Recommendation-

Insert language into recruiting literature and enlistment documents stating that rules concerning benefits may change at any time & that no definite benefit package will be provided in exchange for 20 years of unrestricted worldwide service. No grandfather clause will apply. Have unit leaders refer to this disclaimer when promoting retention drives, giving re-enlistment speeches, etc.

Stop spending federal money on meaningless support the troops promotions, campaigns and VIP photo ops that are not connected in any way with public policy.

 

Here is a hand selected lady who was surprised (1:12) to get a phone call of support from The First Lady- even though cameras were rolling in her home when the phone rang:

Recommendations for saving:

Phase out decades of ongoing, undeclared wars overseas. Phase out the Drug War, allow U.S. farmers to answer the global demand for Industrial Hemp.

Discuss on facebook here.

 

 

Photo- A symbol of freedom & federal government credibility

 

oki“The White House also proposed an increase to the current enrollment fee for working age retirees in the Tricare Prime program phased in over the next four years.”

These are the traditional DOD military healthcare benefits that were used to entice people to stay for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

In every discussion forum I take a look at- someone makes the point that the TRICARE program is much more generous than any civilian plan.

Most Americans never do a day in the Armed Forces, fewer still are interested in doing 20 years.

The country does not support a draft, but is OK with decades of ongoing, undeclared wars overseas. The wear & tear required during 20 years in the crotch is not similar to most civilian jobs.

 

Room for savings-

Google:

$60 billion in DOD contracting fraud

& see where savings are available to pay fees for healthcare earned by people who volunteered to go to far away places and maybe never come back again.

 

Many Americans may associate free medical care with people who stay for 20 years in the US Armed Forces.

Recommendation-

Insert language into recruiting literature and enlistment documents stating that rules concerning benefits may change at any time & that no definite benefit package will be provided in exchange for 20 years of unrestricted worldwide service. No grandfather clause will apply. Have unit leaders refer to this disclaimer when promoting retention drives, giving re-enlistment speeches, etc.

Stop spending federal money on meaningless support the troops promotions, campaigns and VIP photo ops that are not connected in any way with public policy.

Here is a hand selected lady who was surprised (1:12) to get a phone call of support from The First Lady- even though cameras were rolling in her home when the phone rang:

My concerns are not specific to any political party or personality.

Here’s the Republican position Re: making good on healthcare benefits for The Troops:

“Pulling the TRICARE Prime idea from a recent Congressional Budget Office report, McCain said forcing retirees under 65 to use TRICARE Standard, the fee-for-service option, or health insurance from civilian employers, or space-available care at base clinics or hospitals, could save DoD medical accounts up to $111 billion over the next decade.”

Senator McCain,

There was a time when Moms & Dads, friends, relatives, folks at church and school and people with years of military experience encouraged a younger generation to take a favorable look at making a career of the US Armed Forces.

Even if there was another draft- people would be drafted for an enlistment- not a career.

Good luck with your all-volunteer military.

Recommendations for saving:

Phase out decades of ongoing, undeclared wars overseas. Phase out the Drug War, allow U.S. farmers to answer the global demand for Industrial Hemp.

Discuss on facebook here.

 

 

Photo- USMC Okinawa 1980

 

DSC_0129

If you have any thought of doing 20 years in the US Armed Forces in order to make use of the traditional DOD military healthcare benefits that were used to entice people to stay for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan- please read comments following this post.

 

Just spent the past 30 mins. trying to pay TRICARE annual dues on the web.

Keep getting directed to a new page that asks me to upgrade my account- then tells me I already have an account- then asks me what page I want to go to.

Extremely frustrating.

If the TRICARE payment option was as easy as ordering retail products/booking travel reservations, etc. on the web- you would never hear me complain.

Just trying to send money- that is all.

I liked the old system- write a check once a year and mail in time to arrive prior to the end of Sept.- never had a problem.

Take a look at what The Troops have to say here.

 

 

Photo- Hardbody way to the top-

Thursday at Artist Point

 

DSC_0002_005

“Ten years and $60 billion in American taxpayer funds later, Iraq is still so unstable and broken that even its leaders question whether U.S. efforts to rebuild the war-torn nation were worth the cost.”

 

$97 Million Drug War in Central America

DSC_0001

Google:

$60 billion in DOD contracting fraud

& see where savings are available to pay fees for healthcare earned by people who volunteered to go to far away places and maybe never come back again.

Make us proud guys-

Army Corps of Engineers can’t produce $1 billion of fuel receipts in Iraq

“The total amount of funds unaccounted for has now reached a staggering $7 billion, officials say — and they warn that the Iraqi government is likely to demand at least some of that money back.”

 

Elected officials preside over waste & decades of ongoing, undeclared wars overseas- then tell us there is no more money for the traditional DOD military healthcare benefits that were used to entice people to stay for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

No union rep. No grandfather clause.

 

Many Americans may associate free medical care with people who stay for 20 years in the US Armed Forces.

Recommendation-

Insert language into recruiting literature and enlistment documents stating that rules concerning benefits may change at any time & that no definite benefit package will be provided in exchange for 20 years of unrestricted worldwide service. No grandfather clause will apply. Have unit leaders refer to this disclaimer when promoting retention drives, giving re-enlistment speeches, etc.

Stop spending federal money on meaningless support the troops promotions, campaigns and VIP photo ops that are not connected in any way with public policy.

 

Instant, non-experimental jobs program/revenue generator requiring zero tax dollars-

Allow U.S. farmers to answer the global demand for Industrial Hemp.

 

Related-

No Draft

 

 

Photo- A symbol of freedom & federal government credibility

 

DSCN5999_003

It is unfortunate that the American people seem to want to support the troops, but lack a basic understanding of public policy related to the troops.

To be fair- public policy in this area can be confusing- even to people who did time in uniform.

corps

This confusing article seems to indicate that people in highly respected and specialized units, or people involved in high-profile operations would be eligible for a different benefit package than the average people who were in average units over the years. Investigative reporters may not have had a clear understanding of public policy in this case.

A less confusing update here.

 

This very popular marketing device for a US auto manufacturer is not connected in any way to public policy:

Take a look at comments below the video and you will see that people truly feel connected to supporting the troops by watching a made for TV car commercial.

 

The First Lady has made an effort to support military families. Unfortunately- these efforts appear to be completely unrelated to public policy.

Here is a hand selected lady who was surprised (1:12) to get a phone call of support from The First Lady- even though cameras were rolling in her home when the phone rang:

 

No definite benefit package is offered for people who stay for 20 years in the US Armed Forces.

Honest management of public information could improve the situation.

 

Many Americans may associate free medical care with people who stay for 20 years in the US Armed Forces.

Recommendation-

Insert language into recruiting literature and enlistment documents stating that rules concerning benefits may change at any time & that no definite benefit package will be provided in exchange for 20 years of unrestricted worldwide service. No grandfather clause will apply. Have unit leaders refer to this disclaimer when promoting retention drives, giving re-enlistment speeches, etc.

Stop spending federal money on meaningless support the troops promotions, campaigns and VIP photo ops that are not connected in any way with public policy.

Background here:

Thanks for your Service

Related-

No Draft

 

I am no longer recommending the US Armed Forces to young people.

I would have- maybe 10 years ago.

 

What’s changed in the past 10 years?

$60 billion in DOD contracting fraud.

Multiple tours for the National Guard in Iraq and Afghanistan while benefits are cut back.

Heroin inbound.

 

Security Theater

Harpist on Port Townsend-Keystone ferry silenced after 17 years

“State ferries officials say they had no choice but to fairly enforce security policies that were stepped up in the aftermath of terrorist attacks on the East Coast on Sept. 11, 2001.”

Security policies?

The Washington State Patrol uses dogs to check vehicles at some ferry terminals on some days. Walk-on passengers are not checked at any terminal- at any time.

 

Puget Sound port security-

Doublespeak?

July, 2012-

Port security: U.S. fails to meet deadline for scanning of cargo containers

April, 2006-

“CBP screens 100 percent of all maritime containers that pose a risk for terrorism at foreign ports before they are shipped to the United States.”

If a 100% screening was conducted at the foreign port- how did human cargo make it to downtown Seattle?

More here:

Making sense of the War on Terror-

 

What sort of ID is required to prove innocence away from border crossings and ports of entry?

“… their main interaction with the boating public: Boarding boats and checking for ID, getting a “vibe,” as Jeff P. called it, for what’s up.” 

“But another audience member noted that her husband, while fishing, was checked out in one day by the Coast Guard, state Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Sheriff’s Department and Border Patrol.

“That seems ridiculous if all you’re doing is fishing,” she said.”

 

More here:

Suspicionless local ID checks?

 

Troop suicides.

 

Sensitive Dept. of Homeland Security documents released to the public at a garage sale-

Question to ask:

How do sensitive DHS documents leave the workplace without being signed out for official business?

“We would like to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations for their hard work, commitment and dedication to this case” said Chief Patrol Agent John Bates of the U.S. Border Patrol, Blaine Sector.

More here:

The Garage Sale Incident

 

Secret arrest statistics

US Border Patrol- secret arrest statistics on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula

Nov 2011- “The report is always limited to one page regardless of the number of arrests made, includes only those arrests selected by the agency for public release and does not include apprehensions that result in ongoing investigations.”

Sounds like something out of the Soviet Union.

A free and independent press plays no role here in questioning public policy- simply passing down dictates from above.

So, if this guy is arrested it might be done in secret if the one page report is already full, the arrest is not selected by the agency for public release or is an apprehension that results in an ongoing investigation?

 

Suspicionless checkpoints on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula- away from border crossings and ports of entry-

Border Patrol checkpoints came to Jefferson County, WA in 2008.

 

“Federal law allows the border patrol to conduct the checkpoints and stop and talk with any motorist and passenger of any vehicle, said Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Joseph Giuliano.”

“No cause is needed to converse with anyone in the car,” Giuliano said. “Zero, zilch.”

 

A month later-

We are told the #1 US Border Patrol objective is to stop terrorists.

The US Border Patrol explains this objective at a local public forum- this YouTube video covers Border Patrol objectives at 3:50

At that same forum a lady asked:

“What is the penalty for not identifying oneself to federal agents at an internal, suspicionless checkpoint?”

US Border Patrol said they would call in the Sheriff when a person refused to identify themselves.

Sheriff says they will not respond to a non-emergency situation involving a person peaceably refusing to interact with federal agents.

Question about providing ID is at 0:35

Checkpoints ended here in 2008- possibly due to well-informed citizens and local protests. Looks like they weren’t vital to national security after all.

War on Terror- credibility squandered.

More here:

Good luck with your all-volunteer military

 

 

Photo- Port Hadlock Transit Center

 

DSC_0002_005

Google:

$60 billion in DOD contracting fraud

& see where savings are available to pay fees for healthcare earned by people who volunteered to go to far away places and maybe never come back again.

Make us proud guys-

Army Corps of Engineers can’t produce $1 billion of fuel receipts in Iraq

“The total amount of funds unaccounted for has now reached a staggering $7 billion, officials say — and they warn that the Iraqi government is likely to demand at least some of that money back.”

 

Elected officials preside over waste & decades of ongoing, undeclared wars overseas- then tell us there is no more money for the traditional DOD military healthcare benefits that were used to entice people to stay for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Senator McCain speaks about military healthcare benefits-

“I have not yet met a single 18-year-old, including my own son . . . who said, ‘Gee, I want to join the Marine Corps because of TRICARE.’ No, they joined the military because they want to serve their country.”

Background here:

Thanks for your Service

 

Senator McCain,

There was a time when Moms & Dads, friends, relatives, folks at church and school- and people with years of military experience- encouraged a younger generation to take a favorable look at making a career of the US Armed Forces.

Even if there was another draft- people would be drafted for an enlistment- not a career.

Good luck with your all-volunteer military.

 

Related-

Popular slogan- Support The Troops

No Draft

 

 

Photo- A symbol of freedom & federal government credibility

 

 

Welcome Home Troops

TRICARE News-

GAO study: Civilian doctors wary of accepting Tricare

 

“The Pentagon is moving ahead with plans to slash its network of Tricare Prime providers, starting by eliminating the Prime option in three states and two cities in the Tricare West region.”

 

Military Update

Retirees far from bases to lose Tricare Prime

 

Tom Philpott: TRICARE Rx Fee Hike Planned for February

 

TRICARE Fees May Increase Again

 

Google:

$60 billion in DOD contracting fraud

& see where savings are available to pay fees for healthcare earned by people who volunteered to go to far away places and maybe never come back again.

Make us proud guys-

Army Corps of Engineers can’t produce $1 billion of fuel receipts in Iraq

“The total amount of funds unaccounted for has now reached a staggering $7 billion, officials say — and they warn that the Iraqi government is likely to demand at least some of that money back.”

DOD Inspector General finds $900M stockpile of Stryker parts

 

Senator McCain-

“I have not yet met a single 18-year-old, including my own son . . . who said, ‘Gee, I want to join the Marine Corps because of TRICARE.’ No, they joined the military because they want to serve their country.”

They didn’t sign up for TRICARE Senator McCain.

They stayed for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and kept reenlisting until they had 20 years in for TRICARE.

They could have left the armed forces to stabilize their lives Re: children in school, home ownership, a chance at decent local jobs for a two income household, family separation, getting shot at, etc.

They stayed in based on what they thought was an honest understanding of the benefits they were earning.

 

Traditional DOD military healthcare benefits used to entice people to stay for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan should be written in stone.

 

Many Americans may associate free medical care with people who stay for 20 years in the US Armed Forces.

Recommendation-

Insert language into recruiting literature and enlistment documents stating that rules concerning benefits may change at any time & that no definite benefit package will be provided in exchange for 20 years of unrestricted worldwide service. No grandfather clause will apply. Have unit leaders refer to this disclaimer when promoting retention drives, giving re-enlistment speeches, etc.

Stop spending federal money on meaningless support the troops promotions, campaigns and VIP photo ops that are not connected in any way with public policy.

 

Here is a hand selected lady who was surprised (1:12) to get a phone call of support from The First Lady- even though cameras were rolling in her home when the phone rang:

 

My concerns are not specific to any political party or personality.

Here’s the Republican position Re: making good on healthcare benefits for The Troops:

“Pulling the TRICARE Prime idea from a recent Congressional Budget Office report, McCain said forcing retirees under 65 to use TRICARE Standard, the fee-for-service option, or health insurance from civilian employers, or space-available care at base clinics or hospitals, could save DoD medical accounts up to $111 billion over the next decade.”

 

Senator McCain,

There was a time when Moms & Dads, friends, relatives, folks at church and school and people with years of military experience encouraged a younger generation to take a favorable look at making a career of the US Armed Forces.

Even if there was another draft- people would be drafted for an enlistment- not a career.

Good luck with your all-volunteer military.

 

 

Photo- A symbol of freedom & federal government credibility

 

Insists on dividing people up into groups– then assigning a separate value to each group.

 

Cheers on military forces that are not in the habit of winning decades of undeclared wars in distant lands.

Credits The Troops with defending American rights and freedoms- as if the US Armed Forces function as some sort of giant civil rights organization.

 

Stopped supporting a draft a long time ago.

 

Spends money on gunboat escorts for ferries on Puget Sound while terrorists are free to put their boat on a trailer and drive it onto the ferry.

 

Spends months promoting the idea of buying stuff to celebrate Christmas.

 

Brags about freedom- then goes with a control freak approach on individual liberty.

 

Lies about the stories associated with federal holidays.

Celebrates independence from a powerful central government.

Tries to make people feel guilty for not properly observing some federal holidays.

 

Talks about legalizing marijuana while including restrictions that leave prohibition and the drug war in place for adults age 18-20, those who want to grow a plant at home, possess more than an ounce, or possess marijuana from non-state sanctioned outlets.

 

Talks about placing high taxes on legal marijuana.

Dealers, traffickers and cartels are good with this idea.

 

Supports a Homeland Security police state that can’t keep heroin and cocaine out of the US.

 

Tolerates reporters who do not ask questions.

 

Tolerates politicians who lie about clean energy.

 

Supports a Drug War that places us all at risk.

 

 

Photo- Port Hadlock Transit Center

 

DSCN5780

Perhaps four handguns could have saved thousands on 911?

Never Forget-

The US Armed Forces were irrelevant in defending American rights and freedoms, our physical security, & The Constitution on 911.

Ditto for all other federal agencies and departments.

 

How are terrorists kept out while heroin comes in?

‘Uptick’ in heroin use seen on North Olympic Peninsula

Think terrorists are smart enough to pose as drug traffickers- then cross into the US free of screening, scanning, pat downs, special IDs, inspection of personal items, etc.

Domestic heroin busts are reported as some sort of law & order success-

Each one is evidence that- 11 years after 911– the US Dept. of Homeland Security is unable to prevent criminal traffic from entering the US.

 

Conspiracy Theory-

More information is better- this is how science and medicine works. Over the years some people have been freed from prison based on new DNA evidence becoming available.
Are the people who took steps to discover that new evidence conspiracy theorists?
Apply this same curiosity and desire for knowledge to some controversial topics and you’ll be labeled a conspiracy theorist.

Why the effort to suppress ideas?

 

 

 

 

Military suicide rates are up. Value of benefits is down-

 

I have an acquaintance who has had a positive, long term relationship with a mental healthcare professional.

That healthcare professional will not contract with TRICARE after United HealthCare takes over.

 

It sounds like the tortuous paperwork processing requirements are not worth the low reimbursement rates provided to the mental healthcare professional.

People who have the ability to help others find internal peace realize the strain will be unbearable when the next lowest bidder moves into place.

 

Welcome Home Troops

 

What is likely to happen in the case I am familiar with is a continued patient/client relationship based on negotiating a fee- same as people did 100 years ago. This way- none of the patient’s money & none of the healthcare professional’s money will be chopped out by a middleman agency staffed with people who enforce mind-numbing paperwork mandates.

 

“…low reimbursement rates are the number one reason physicians say they turn away TRICARE beneficiaries.”

 

TRICARE enrollees face obstacles finding mental health providers

 

Healthcare fees going up for The Troops who stayed for 20 years-

TRICARE Prime fees to increase Oct. 1

Here is $6-8 billion that could have paid for healthcare fees for people who volunteered to go to far away places and maybe never come back again & those who stayed for multiple tours in Iraq.

Here is another $60 billion that could have gone to pay healthcare fees for those who made a 20 year commitment to whatever wear and tear came their way.

 

 

Photo- pre-tsunami debris scene on the Washington Coast

 

A symbol of freedom & federal government credibility

USMC Okinawa, 1980

 

Google:

60 billion in DOD contracting fraud

& see where savings are available to pay for healthcare fees earned by people who volunteered to go to far away places and maybe never come back again.

 

Politicians figured out that ending the draft & pretending to honor The Troops for a few moments at major sporting events would make it all good.

 

Traditional DOD military healthcare benefits used to entice people to stay for multiple tours in Iraq should be written in stone. 

 

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta-

“But let me be clear that even after these increases, the cost borne by military retirees will remain below the levels in comparable private-sector plans.”

People who volunteer to go to far away places & maybe never come back again will pay less in fees for healthcare than people who stayed home.

Welcome Home Troops

 

Doublespeak-

“Panetta told reporters that defense officials “are going to protect the benefits that are provided to our troops and their families.”

But that doesn’t preclude changes to future benefits packages, or even cost-saving changes to current health care benefits and housing stipends.”

 

“Of the planned $450 billion in cuts over the next 10 years, more than half would come by having retirees pick up more out-of-pocket healthcare and drug costs, and by reducing or changing the military retirement system going forward.”

Thanks for the VIP photo-op featuring handpicked attendees- but how does that help the military family that hung in for multiple tours in Iraq & can now look forward to paying more for their healthcare benefits?

Here’s an idea to help military families-

Stop using tax money for ongoing National Guard deployments to distant lands– absent any military emergency, draft, or declaration of war.

More room for savings here:

Report: U.S. wasted $60 billion in contracting fraud, abuse

Another source here:

US Military Paid $1.1 Trillion to Contractors That Defrauded the Government

More savings available here:

Obama Proposes $2.4 Billion in Aid to Pakistan

More room for savings:

Afghan army to cost US $4 billion a year after 2014 withdrawal 

 

Madam First Lady, What is your position on raising healthcare fees for 20 year veterans?

Thanks for prodding a daytime TV audience to spend more time appreciating The Troops.

Perhaps less Americans are buying into the idea that overseas military operations are somehow connected to American rights and freedoms.

Perhaps some question a departure from the old tradition of a formal congressional declaration of war prior to sending the troops into combat.

Perhaps some see that Post 911 efforts to keep terrorists from visiting the homeland- still are unable to keep illegal drugs out.

Some may have come to the point where they just think of it as a Fake War on Terror.

 

 

“…$70 billion worth of cost overruns by the Pentagon were caused by management failures.”

This is the same DOD that says they are running out of money to pay for the healthcare benefits that were used to entice people to reenlist for ongoing, undeclared wars in distant lands.

 

“Sporting events have become the domain of worship of the military and its actions. It isn’t possible to watch a high school, college or professional sporting event without being subjected to flyovers from fighter jets, drill teams, or marching bands. Anyone who simply wants to watch their favorite football team on a Sunday afternoon cannot do so without the now required greetings from uniformed troops in Camp Liberty, or Camp Freedom, or Camp Patriot in Iraq or Afghanistan.”

 

My concerns are not specific to any political party or personality.

Here’s the Republican position Re: making good on healthcare benefits for The Troops:

“Pulling the TRICARE Prime idea from a recent Congressional Budget Office report, McCain said forcing retirees under 65 to use TRICARE Standard, the fee-for-service option, or health insurance from civilian employers, or space-available care at base clinics or hospitals, could save DoD medical accounts up to $111 billion over the next decade.”

 

Both major parties move in a pro-war/anti-liberty direction.

 

USMC Okinawa, 1980

 

Doublespeak-

“…pay levels overall are set too high as evidenced by the services’ continuous ability to meet recruiting and retention targets…”

Why are multiple National Guard deployments to distant lands- absent any military emergency, draft or declaration of war- required if the active force has all the bodies they need?

 

Cutting back on benefits used to entice people to reenlist during long wars…

How about letting people keep the plan that was in place when they signed up?

How about letting people keep the plan that was in place when they completed 20 years?

No definite benefit plan for people who volunteer to go to far away places and maybe never come back again-

 

Doublespeak-

“Panetta told reporters that defense officials “are going to protect the benefits that are provided to our troops and their families.”

But that doesn’t preclude changes to future benefits packages, or even cost-saving changes to current health care benefits and housing stipends.”

Of the planned $450 billion in cuts over the next 10 years, more than half would come by having retirees pick up more out-of-pocket healthcare and drug costs, and by reducing or changing the military retirement system going forward.

 

“…for retirees enrolled in TRICARE Prime, their costs would go up according to their pay increases that year.”

Pay increases?

 

The word is- The Dept. of Defense does not have enough cash for ongoing, undeclared wars and weapons– so they will make “The Troops” and former troops pay more for the benefits they earned when they volunteered to go to far away places and maybe never come back again.

Possible DOD cash savings here:

Stop using tax money for ongoing Washington National Guard deployments to distant lands- absent any military emergency, draft, or declaration of war.

Report: U.S. wasted $60 billion in contracting fraud, abuse

Plenty of DOD cash for more weapons.

 

The law raises the TRICARE Prime enrollment fees for military retirees and includes an indexed increase tied to the cost-of-living adjustment beginning in fiscal 2013.

June, 2011-

Defense Secretary Robert Gates

“…reassuring Marines at Camp Lejeune just weeks earlier that any change to retirement should not affect the current force. “So don’t get nervous,” he said.”

Raising healthcare fees won’t affect the current force?

“But any change to retirement would have to be grandfathered, Gates said, so no one in the service today is affected.”not true for healthcare.

“Gates’ remarks encourage that military compensation be part of planned defense cuts, suggesting excess dollars going today into compensation can be diverted over time to help replace aging fleets of aircraft, ships, submarines and land warfare vehicles.”

Or- take money from “The Troops” and hand it over to giant defense contractors.

 

 

Top level government officials begin their retirement while recommending cutbacks on benefits earned by “The Troops”after reminding us about a week ago of all the sacrifices veterans have made for our freedoms, etc.

No recommendation from these career federal employees to save money by keeping the National Guard and all the rest out of undeclared wars in the first place.

DOD has cash for new Drug War bases in Central & South America, the State Department is preparing to spend close to $3 billion to hire a security force to protect diplomats in Iraq after the U.S. pulls its last troops out of the country by year’s end- but it’s time to cut back on benefits earned by people who volunteered to go to far away places and maybe never come back again.

“During a June 2 session with reporters, Mullen said cuts should come from things like bloated staffs and unnecessary organizations — and military healthcare reform, once considered an untouchable program.

“We have to put initiatives in place over the mid-term that will then start to generate cash in the out years,” Mullen said.”

New Voice Joins the Call for Pay Cuts

“Recruitment and retention challenges could return if America does not do a better job now of producing more young men and women qualified for service.”

“Not a day goes by that we don’t ask how we can help our troops”

“…the department in its fiscal 2012 budget proposed raising TRICARE user fees on a gradual, sliding scale for working-age retirees.”

 

Obama proclaims Military Spouse Day

First Lady to Hollywood: Reflect Military Families

First Lady Pledges Support For Military Families

Having a staged lunch/photo op with military spouses on a giant stateside base will make it better.

Madam First Lady- what is your position on raising healthcare fees for 20 year veterans?

 

At graduation time-

If you have school-age sons and daughters- tell them to stay away from the US Armed Forces.

30 years ago- healthcare benefits were nowhere near the issue they are today & most Americans had little interest in doing time in uniform.

The country supports ongoing, undeclared wars in distant lands, but not a draft. National Guard troops face multiple deployments overseas- long after any emergency phase of operations. People who operated without the benefit of labor unions paid their dues to earn benefits & now the rules are changing.

Pentagon Wants Vets To Pay More For Health Care

Gates defends plan to raise some Tricare fees

VFW against TRICARE increase plans

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says military healthcare fees must rise

Secretary of Defense says Tricare fees paid by military retirees must go up.

…”What medical plan in the nation has not had a single increase in the premium or co-pays in the last dozen years?”

What other plan has been earned by people who volunteer to go to far away places and maybe never come back again?

Notice Secretary Gates does not demand that congress properly fund the “All Volunteer” military that continues to fight 2 wars overseas- his solution is to have the guys that already did their time pay out of pocket to save the government some money here.

Semper Fi Secretary Gates!

Thanks for supporting “The Troops”

Jim Webb took a stand back in the 80’s and resigned as Secretary of the Navy because he refused to agree to reduce the size of the Navy.

We don’t see much of that any more. High level government officials get paid the same wether they take a stand or not. Maybe they are nominated because it is likely they will just go along with whatever comes their way.

There is federal money to move around to provide for bailouts, clean up after white collar crime, remind everyone to line up to get a converter box to keep old TVs running, etc.

Maintaining a definite healthcare package for those who signed on to go to far away places and maybe never come back again may not be such a priority.

Military Healthcare Benefits-

Some would say “Free” healthcare.

Not free- (there is already an enrollment fee- in order to make appointments- plus co-pays and prescription fees)- but earned as part of a deferred compensation/incentive package offered to qualified individuals who were willing to serve or continue to serve in the US Armed Forces.

Offered partly because of the supply and demand problem that has existed for decades- most Americans have no interest in taking on the wear and tear that comes with serving in the Armed Forces, fewer still are interested in investing a spare 20 years in making a career of the military.

We hear many good things about the generation who fought WWII. People lied about their age to serve. There was a draft. Women went in, along with movie stars, entertainers and sports celebrities- the whole country understood and was involved in the war effort. School kids participated. Most people probably had a family member who served or at least knew people who did.

Today, most people do not serve and we are most comfortable with an “All Volunteer” military- until it comes time to pay on promised benefits.

“Support the Troops” is a common slogan and big political parties push and shove to stake out their own reputation for “Supporting the Troops”.

It’s all good for the average American as long as slapping a Communist Chinese Yellow Ribbon magnet on the car means the dues are paid up.

Our “Something for Nothing” culture does not pause to consider a minority of citizens who have gone the extra mile to take risks and- in return- earn benefits.

The military package never was meant to be comparable with civilian benefits.

Name another job that you can not quit that requires random, unannounced drug testing.

The demands of the job are not comparable- but- all freely accepted with the understanding that some will be sent to far away places and never come back again- and- that it all counts towards earning a definite benefit package- and not the easy way.

People made decisions and sacrifices in order to serve or continue to serve based on an understanding of the benefits they were fighting for.

Message to parents, young adults, recruiters, educators, veteran’s groups, church groups, flag lapel pin wearers, politicians, football teams with flag stickers on helmets, 911 marketers, and “support the troops” promoters- Teach your children- “bait and switch” tactics are in effect. Know this before considering serving in the Armed Forces.