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RAO BULLETIN
1 May 2012

Text Edition


Note:  Anyone receiving this who does not want it should click on the automatic “Change address / Leave mailing list” tab at the bottom of this message.

THIS BULLETIN CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES

== RAO Bulletin Websites [02] ------------------------------ (Changes)
== NDAA 2013 -------------------------------------- (Movement Begins)
== Food Myths [01] ------------------------------------ (Fact vs. Fiction)
== Student Veterans of America [03] ------- (Sham Chapters Named)
== Clark AFB Vet Cemetery [03] --------------- (S.2320 & H.R.4168)
== Breast Cancer [03] -------------------------------- (NeuVax Vaccine)
== Dengue Fever -------------------- (Vaccine Enters 1st Clinical Trial)
== VA Suicide Prevention [11] ------------------------------ (Pranksters)
== VA Ambulance Coverage ---------------------------------- (Call 911)
== VA Presumptive Herbicide Diseases [01] - (Comp & Health Care)
== Stolen Valor [64] ------------------------------ (John Carl Pequignot)
== Stolen Valor [65] --------------------------------------- (Dave Groves)
== VA Outside Medical Claims [01] ----------- (Vet Sued for $200K)
== Cardiovascular Disease [01] ----------------- (Gum Disease Factor)
== DoD 2013 Budget [18] ------------------- (Unfunded Priorities List)
== USERRA [13] -------------------------------------------------- (S.2299)
== VA Mental Health Care [11] ----------- (1,900 New Hires Planned)
== VA Mental Health Care [12] ------- (MFP/LPMC Services Added)
== VA Mental Health Care [13] ---------- (Wait-Time Data Problems)
== USS Scorpion [01] ------------------- (Deep-Sea Expedition Sought)
== Agent Orange & Hypertension [01] --------------- (New VA Study)
== Korean War 60th Anniversary [02] --------------------- (H.Res. 618)
== Vet Toxic Exposure ~ Lejeune [28] **--------- (Appeal  to Obama)
== Burn Pit Toxic Emissions [18] **  -- (H.R.3337 Burn Pit Register)
== Military Retirement Commission ** ----------------- (Loaded Deck)
== VA Budget 2013 [04] **------------- (Exempt From Sequestration)
== VA Claims Assistance [04] ** --------- (Records Access Dilemma)
== VA Health Care Enrollment [03] ** ----- (Auto Plan Controversy)
== MCAS Futenma Okinawa [04] ------------ (Negotiations Continue)
== Vet Cremains [10] ---------------------------------------------- (S.2244)
== Vet Cremains [11] -------------------- (VA/MI Unclaimed Veterans)
== TSP [28] ------------------------------------------- (ROTH TSP Delays)
== Income Tax Extensions [01] -------------------- (Filing/Paying Late)
== VA Claim Processing [05] ------------- (Transformation Initiatives)
== Veterans' Treatment Court [14] --------------- (Missouri Legislation)
== Manila VARO & OPC [06] ----------------------- (Balikatan Protest)
== Vet Toxic Exposure ~ Lejeune [27] --- (Info Release Security Risk)
== VA Special Monthly Compensation ------------------ (Above 100%)
== VA Claims Backlog [60] --------------- (870,000 Wait for Decisions)
== VA Claims Backlog [61] --------------------------- (Pushing 900,000)
== Louisiana Vet Cemeteries [03] ------------ (LA National Dedication)
== TRICARE User Fees [86] -------------- (Unintended Consequences)
== TRICARE User Fees [87] ------------- (Stop the War on TRICARE)
== Vet Jobs [59] -------------------------------------- (New VOW Website)
== GI Bill [117] --------------------------------- (Obama Executive Order)
== Mobilized Reserve 24 Apr 2012 --------------------- (1663 Decrease)
== PTSD [97] --------------------------------- (New Screening Guidelines)
== Vet License Plates LA ------------------------------------- (Availability)
== WWII Vets [18] --------------------------------------------- (John Heller)
== WWII Posters ---------------------------------------------------------- (04)
== POW/MIA [18] --------------------------------------- (16-30 Apr 2012)
== Veteran Support Organizations -------------------------- (ThanksUSA)
== Saving Money ---------------------------------------------- (Cruise Ships)
== VA Fraud Waste & Abuse [47] ---------------------- (16-30 Apr 2012)
== Notes of Interest --------------------------------------- (16-30 Apr 2012)
== Medicare Fraud [91] ---------------------------------- (16-30 Apr 2012)
== State Veteran's Benefits -------------------------------------- (Wisconsin)
== Military History ------------------------------------- (Battle at Rumaila)
== Military History Anniversaries ----------------- (May 1-15 Summary)
== Military Trivia 50 ----------------------------- (USN Ship Designations)
== State Tax Comparisons [04] ----------------------------------- (Property)
== Tax Burden for Mississippi Retirees ---------------- (As of Apr 2012)
== Aviation Art ------------------------------------- (Rising Into the Storm )
== Veteran Legislation Status 27 Apr 2012 ----------- (Where we stand)
== Have You Heard? -------------------------------- (Submarine Nostalgia)
Attachment - RAO Bulletin 1 May 2012 Website Edition
Attachment - Veteran Legislation as of  27 Apr 2012
Attachment - Wisconsin State Veteran's Benefits
Attachment - USN Ship Designations
Attachment - Submarine Nostalgia
Attachment - Vet License Plates Louisiana
Attachment - Gulf War Battle at Rumaila

** Denotes Military Times Copyrighted Material


********************************* *********************************


RAO Bulletin Websites Update 02:     I have been advised  by the Webmaster of  American Legion’s Post 119 at http://post_119_gulfport_ms.tripod.com/rao1.html that due to equipage and time restraints they can no longer post the RAO Bulletin on their site.  Also, the Editor of CFL News Chat  has advised that due to recent changes imposed by his provider, any attachments in excess of 200 Kbytes on http://s11.zetaboards.com/CFLNewsChat/forum/27519/ under pinned topics well no longer open/download for general public direct access.  As a result anyone now desiring to access the PDF Edition of the RAO Bulletin via the CFLNewsChat must do a onetime registration by going to http://anyveteran.org/smf/index.php?action=login1 and following the registration prompts.  Assuming you selected the ‘Forever’ option for the amount of time to be logged in you will not have to repeat this procedure each time.  At this site you can also access an alphabetical listing of all Bulletin articles and attachments published in the last 5 years which are available for recall upon request to mailto:raoemo@sbcglobal.net.

     Subscribers who cannot open/download PDF files or intend to post the Bulletin on a website should use the Website Edition of the Bulletin posted on the Veterans Resources site http://www.veteransresources.org/rao-bulletin/ . Bear in mind this site normally does not post the Bulletin until 2 to 5 days after its publication. The Website Edition is an modified version of the Bulletin with Word attachments.  In it, articles sourced from MilitaryTimes appear as abbreviated  headers with websites to access to read/download the full article. This format is necessary due to their enforcement of copyright restrictions to enhance their advertising revenue.

     I estimate this change will impact on about 5000 readers who cannot rely on their servers to forward the Bulletin to them twice monthly. The servers that consistently block the Bulletin are AOL.com, Wmconnect.com, Cyberspace.com,  Netscape.net, and af.mil.  Subscribers with these addees have been removed from my active directory and will not be reinstated until they provide an email addee I can reach.  The servers that randomly block the Bulletin are Comcast.net, Msn.com,  Verizon.net, Earthlink.net, and Roadrunner plus numerous government servers.  Subscribers with these addees are sent a Bulletin every time. [Source: Editor/Publisher RAO Bulletin 28 Apr 2012 ++]

*********************************

NDAA 2013:   In late April there was a focus on next year’s National Defense Authorization Act in both the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. In the House the HASC’s Personnel Subcommittee marked up the FY2013 NDAA bill H.R.4310 and sent it on to the full Committee for their consideration. The mark-up did not include any of the Pentagon’s proposals to increase TRICARE enrollment fees in TRICARE Prime, or creating yearly enrollment fees for TRICARE for Life and TRICARE Standard that would apply to military retirees. Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) in his opening statement said that the mark up “Make(s) clear that non-monetary contributions to health care benefits made by our troops and their families through a career of service to America represents pre-payment of health care premiums in retirement.” This is very good news but is only the first step. Next comes the consideration of the full Committee. The mark-up also included:
• Authorize a troop pay increase of 1.7% and extend bonuses and special pay for our men and women in uniform.
• Limit end strength reductions for the active Army and Marine Corps.
• Provide significant new regulations and procedures for combating and prosecuting sexual assault within the military.
• Extend access to family housing for six months and Commissary and Exchange benefits for two years for troops who are involuntarily separated.
• By silence on the issue, reject the Pentagon proposal for two additional rounds of Base Reduction and Closure (BRAC) action.
• Authorize $30 million in Impact Aid assistance for civilian schools with significant populations of military children.
• Protect child custody agreements in the event of deployment of the military parent.
• Extend certain refinancing help for qualifying servicemembers who can't sell their homes in conjunction with a military-ordered relocation.
• Authorize transition benefits of 180 days of TRICARE Reserve Select health coverage and TRICARE dental coverage for members involuntarily separated from the Selected Reserve.
• Require the Defense Department to establish a unified medical command


     On 25 APR the Senate Armed Services Committee heard testimony on the FY2013 NDAA. The Senate Armed Services Committee’ Subcommittee on Personnel heard from DOD’s service personnel officials who continued to lobby for higher out-of-pocket TRICARE health insurance fees for retirees and their families. In written testimony the Army’s top personnel official wrote TRICARE “is a superb health benefit, one of the best in the country” but the time has come to scale back. “Just as in all areas of the defense budget, we need to make decisions that preserve a strong benefit yet reflect the fiscal realities of the times,” said Thomas Lamont, the assistant Army secretary for manpower and reserve affairs. “The proposed TRICARE fees reflect appropriate adjustments, and the TRICARE benefit will remain on of the finest and most generous health benefits available in the country,” said Juan Garcia, the assistant Navy secretary for manpower and reserve affairs. It is clear that DOD is not letting up from their push to get these fees authorized.  [Source: TREA News for the Enlisted 27 Apr 2012 ++]

*********************************

Food Myths Update 01:      When the subject of food comes up, we are usually overwhelmed because of the different opinions and options concerning what food we should or should not eat. Consequently, keeping up with food trends can be extremely difficult. So, what is really fact or fiction when it comes to eating healthy?  If you need more information, visit http://www.eatright.org , or if you have questions, contact a VA Registered Dietitian at (713) 791-1414 ext. 3976, 4296, or 6166.  The following covers the truth about some food myths:

Myth 1. “I am diabetic so I should not eat anything white.”
Truth: Avoiding an entire group of food is never a good idea. A person may feel they are being cheated and eat more than they normally would at the next meal. Diabetics should monitor the amount of carbohydrates they consume; but, they should not completely avoid them. Other names for carbohydrates are “carbs” or “starches.” White foods such as potatoes, rice, bread, and sugar do contain carbohydrates. However, many foods that are not white such as corn, peas, brown rice, fruit juice, and soda also contain carbohydrates. For example, a cup of orange juice would elevate your blood sugar as much as a piece of white bread. Therefore, “white” foods can fit into a diabetic diet as easily as other foods. Eating healthy is all about balance which includes a proper diet adjusted to your body needs and activity level.

Myth 2. “Artificial sweeteners are bad for me.”
Truth: Artificial sweeteners are also called sugar substitutes (SS). Examples of sugar substitutes are Sweet ‘N Low, Equal, Splenda, and Truvia. They are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA must approve foods as safe before they can be sold. However, SS have a bad reputation as something that can cause cancer. Current research has found no clear link between their use and the risk of cancer in humans.

Myth 3. “Sea salt is better than table salt.”
Truth: Sea salt has the same amount of sodium (salt) as table salt. If you are looking for a salt substitute, try herbs or
salt-free seasonings. Also, check the ingredient list on foods you purchase to make sure the food is truly salt-free.

Myth 4. “Eggs are bad for me”
Truth: Eggs have a bad reputation because the yolks are high in cholesterol. Nevertheless, eggs are good to eat in
modest amounts of three or four a week. Also, eggs are a great source of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B12. Furthermore, if your cholesterol is high try eating just the egg whites or low cholesterol eggs.

Myth 5. “Eating before bedtime makes me gain weight.”
Truth: The food you eat before bedtime will not make you gain any more weight than food you eat during the day.
Weight gain occurs when you consume more calories than you burn with exercise or physical activity. So, if you exercised enough in the day to burn off the calories in the late night snack, you will not gain weight. One thing to
consider is that late night snacking occurs because you are bored. Thus, if you are snacking out of boredom, not hunger, those late-night calories probably will catch up with you which will result in weight gain.
[Source:  VA Star Mar/Apr 2012 ++]

*********************************

Student Veterans of America Update 03:      On 26 APR Student Veterans of America (SVA) published the list of 26 for-profit institutions whose SVA charters had been revoked. The removal of SVA chapters resulted from a routine, annual review of all chapters. "SVA chapters must be established and led by student veterans. Student veteran organizations in development, or created by university administrators, defeats the fundamental spirit of the SVA chapter,” said Michael Dakduk, Executive Director of Student Veterans of America. "In addition to being a peer support group, SVA chapters exist as campus and community based advocacy organizations. It appears that some for-profit schools do not understand our model, or worse –they understand our model and they choose to exploit it for personal gain.” This is important because:
1) It defrauds veterans seeking advice from SVA’s student leaders;
2) It deters veterans who would otherwise form chapters at these campuses;
3) It misrepresents these chapters as being a point of contact for veterans seeking out their peers who can help them with transition issues and introduce them to a community of individuals that share similar experiences;
4) It undermines the legitimacy and reputation of SVA.

     Many military and veteran-friendly school lists cite having a SVA chapter as a criterion for becoming ‘veteran-friendly’. The term ‘military-friendly’, or ‘veteran-friendly’, as it relates to academic institutions is ill-defined.  "I am concerned that certain for-profit schools may be taking advantage of the SVA brand to legitimize their programs. This may be an example of certain schools establishing fake SVA chapters to appear on a military-friendly list. By being featured on these lists, those schools can then advertise their programs as accommodating to veterans –although the term military and veteran friendly lacks any real definition. This is an extreme example of misrepresentation. There is a pattern of impropriety among certain for-profit institutions of higher learning.” Those found to be in non-compliance are:
• Allied American University
• Anthem College-Online
• Argosy University-Online
• Argosy University-San Bernardino
• Art Institute Of California-Orange County
• Art Institute Of California-Sacramento
• Art Institute Of Michigan
• Art Institute Of New York City
• Art Institute Of Pittsburgh
• Art Institute Of Pittsburgh-Online
• Art Institute Of Washington
• Art Institutes International-Kansas City
• Ashworth College
• Brown Mackie College-Akron
• Devry University-Orlando South
• ECPI College Of Technology-Innsbrook
• ECPI College Of Technology-Raleigh
• ECPI College Of Technology-Richmond
• Expression College For Digital Arts
• Fashion Institute Of Design & Merchandising
• ITT Technical Institute-South Bend
• ITT Technical Institute-Springfield
• ITT Technical Institute-Strongsville
• Medical Careers Institute
• South University-Alabama
• South University-Georgia
 [Source: 
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