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                  TREA55 contact

20 March ** 2003  at the Veterans Service Officer here in Marina.

265 Reservation Road, Marina, CA.
across from McDonalds

** correct information not received from the chapter yet. s/vern_webmaster TREA55
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Sorry I can't maintain the grafics for the above, but if you put your zip code in the box above TREA will give you the information on your representives and their web page.
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new information will be at or near top,
The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA)

Legislative Affairs Office

909 N. Washington St, Suite 301

Alexandria, VA. 22314-1555

Phone: (703) 684-1981

Fax: (703) 548-4876


Legislative Update for March 7, 2003

On Wednesday, Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) introduced S 451, the Survivor Benefit Plan Benefits Improvement Act of 2003.  The bill would increase the SBP annuity from 35% to 55% over a 5-year period, until 2007. In addition, the bill would authorize military retirees who previously declined SBP to enroll, paying an increased premium. A companion bill, HR 548, was introduced by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL). That bill currently has 140 co-sponsors.

Other Legislation of Interest:

S 56, Keep Our Promise to America's Military Retirees Act, a bill to restore health care coverage to retired members of the uniformed services.  Introduced by Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) on 1/7/03. Also on that date, HR 58, a companion bill, was introduced in the House by Rep Chet Edwards (D-TX).

S 392, Retired Pay Restoration Act of 2003, to amend title 10, United States Code, to permit retired members of the Armed Forces who have a service-connected disability to receive both military retired pay by reason of their years of military service and disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs for their disability. Introduced by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) on 2/13/03. The House companion bill is HR 303, introduced by Rep. Mike Bilirakis (R-FL) on 1/8/03.

S 445, Reservists Retirement and Retention Act of 2003, to amend title 10, United States Code, to revise the age and service requirements for eligibility to receive retired pay for non-regular service. (Reserve Components) This bill would set requirements for a combination of minimum age and years of service, to allow eligible retired members of the Reserve components to receive retired pay prior to age 60. This bill was introduced by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) on 2/25/03.

HR 742, to amend title 10, United States Code, to reduce the age for receipt of military retired pay for non-regular service (Reserve Components) from 60 to 55. Introduced by Rep.Jim Saxton (R-NJ) on 2/12/03.

HR 1059, to amend title 10, United States Code, to provide increased access to military commissary stores for members of the Ready Reserve, persons who would be eligible for military retired pay (but for the fact that they are under 60 years of age), and their dependents.  Introduced by Rep. Martin Frost (D-TX) on 3/4/03.

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                      Defense transportation officials have announced a one-year
                      test to offer space-available travel privileges within the
                      continental United States to family members accompanied
                      by their sponsors. The test begins April 1, 2003, and will
                      continue through March 31, 2004. Space-A flights will be
                      available to dependents of both active-duty members and
                      military retirees. Participants will have the same
                      eligibility category as their sponsors. To register for
                      Space-A travel, active-duty sponsors must be on leave or
                      a pass and remain in that status while awaiting travel
                      and through the entire travel period. Retirees may sign
                      up 60 days in advance but not before the test begins
                      April 1. Additional information is available at

MILITARY UPDATE: Concurrent Receipt Deal Leaves Ex-Spouses out in the Cold; More on Triwest Theft


by Tom Philpott

Divorced military retirees and their ex-spouses don't usually cheer for the same legislation. An exception occurred in 2002, when retirees with disabilities and their former spouses prayed that Congress would lift the ban on "concurrent receipt" -- that is, end the dollar-for-dollar offset of military retirement when a retiree draws VA disability compensation. The compromise enacted into law Dec. 2 will give some still limited number of retirees -- those with disabling war wounds and with serious combat-related or combat-training-related injuries or illnesses -- a new monthly payment, called Combat-Related Special Compensation.

CRSC will take effect Memorial Day for eligible applicants, with payments to begin July 1. Defense officials are drafting regulations and preparing application forms. This spring they expect to survey retirees to get some sense of how many will apply.

CRSC, however, is far cry from concurrent receipt. It is extra pay rather than restored retired pay. It likely will go to thousands of retirees rather than to many tens of thousands, thus disappointing most retirees with disabilities deemed "service related" by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Perhaps the most disappointed are some former spouses of disabled retirees who saw their court-ordered share of military retirement decline or disappear as VA raised their ex-husbands' disability ratings over the years.

Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act, military finance centers are allowed to divide only "disposable" retired pay with former spouses when presented with valid court orders. The law defines disposable as what remains after deductions for VA disability pay, federal and state income taxes, and other qualifying debits.

Judy Easterbrooks of Seattle, Wash., is an ex-spouse who understood what was at stake as Congress debated whether to restore full retired pay to her disabled ex-husband. Last November a finance center notice announced that the value of her 31 percent share of his retired pay had dropped by more than $300 a month because the VA raised his disability rating. A higher rating raised tax-free disability pay for the retiree but lowered disposable retired pay by an equal amount, so Easterbrooks' income fell.

Had she known at time of her divorce how the disability offset law could whittle down her share of retirement, she said, "I would have fought, even dragged it out for years if I had to, to get 50 percent."

Had Congress enacted full concurrent receipt, as proposed by the Senate, or even a more limited version initially passed by the House, Easterbrooks' ex-husband would have seen his retired pay offset end and she would have seen the full value of her 31 percent restored.

Former spouse Katherine V. of Bossier City, La., said her 50 percent share of military retired pay disappeared in January 2001 when the VA ruled that her ex-husband's brain tumor was service connected. Had she known about his application, she said, she would have presented evidence to dispute an assumption that his job exposed him often to nuclear weapons, which the VA deemed a likely cause of the malignancy.

"I was not given an opportunity to use my lawyer to look into what was going on," she said. "They just took his word for it." Her income fell more than $700 a month.

Her lawyer, Carey Schimpf of Shreveport, La., said the ban on concurrent receipt remains, even after the CRSC compromise, and it will continue to surprise and disappoint ex-spouses like Katherine.

Indeed, even if her ex-husband qualifies in June for CRSC, it is not restored retired pay and Katherine will not entitled to an automatic share.
"It could double his income and she would still get zero," said Schimpf. "There's no avenue to reinstate what she lost. Her part is now in his pot."

Schimpf expressed sympathy for his client's ailing ex-husband but criticized a concurrent receipt law that continues to pit ex-spouses against disabled retirees for benefits that, he said, they both deserve.
5. Concurrent Receipt Left-behinds Get Another Chance
When the 107th Congress adjourned, every unpassed bill
introduced during its sessions died. Staffers have
confirmed that longtime concurrent receipt champion Rep.
Michael Bilirakis, R-Fla, will reintroduce concurrent
receipt legislation in the 108th Congress when it convenes
on January 7, 2003. The bill number is expected to again
be HR-303.

6. Group Launches USFSPA Lawsuit
A group of Florida veterans is initiating a class action
lawsuit to declare the Uniform Services Former Spouses'
Protection Act unconstitutional "so that the lifetime
retirement/retainer compensation of career military
personnel is no longer subject to division amongst
ex-spouses/third parties that never served in the United
States Armed Forces." Cliff Ancelet, one of the
coordinators, states that, on June 26, 1981, the U.S.
Supreme Court ruled in McCarty vs. McCarty that military
retirement pay should not be divisible as community
property. However, the USFSPA, which became Public Law
97-252 on September 8, 1982, was made retroactive to
June 21, 1981. The retroactive effective date served to
nullify the Supreme Court's decision. The group contends
that this was in violation of Article 1, Sections 9 and
10 of the U.S. Constitution. The group charges a $100
fee to participate. For more information,

7. New Tricare Mail Order Pharmacy Contract Set
Servicing for more than 400,000 military pharmacy mail
order customers will be switched March 1, 2003, to Express
Scripts Inc., according to Army Col. William D. Davies of
the Tricare Management Activity, Falls Church, Va. Davies
said beneficiaries who have refills remaining on
prescriptions on March 1 will be transferred to Express
Scripts so they can continue ordering medications on
time, with a few exceptions. In early January, current
users should receive a post card announcing the new
services. That will be followed by a mailing which will
include a registration form, a description of benefits
and a brochure covering the Tricare program. For more
information, visit

8. Soldiers Grade Retirement Home A-OK
Every enlisted service member and warrant officer donates
50 cents a month to the Armed Forces Retirement Homes in
Washington, D.C., and Gulfport, Mississippi, but few visit
to see where their money goes. Last week 34 soldiers from
Army Personnel Command visited the Washington facility
and came away impressed with the home, and the golf
course, bowling alley, and private bus service. "Anyone
who thinks that these people are here waiting to die
definitely has the wrong perception of this place," said
Sgt. 1st Class Juan Garza. "This facility is great, and
the residents are enjoying themselves." About 1,030
veterans reside in the D.C. home. Eligibility goes to
those who served 20 years or more as enlisted members on
active duty, and warrant officers or officers who served
more than 50 percent of their time as enlisted. Visit
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Schedule of Events:

20 March 2003          General Meeting 1900 (7:00PM)

Meeting Notices:

 All meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month at the Monterey County   Military & Veterans Service Office located at
265 Reservation Road, Marina, CA.
Our meetings commences at 7:PM precede by a  snack prior to our meetings.
We cordially  invite all members to attend.  Subject matter of mutual benefits are always on the  evening agenda.

(please note the office is in a shopping mall across from a McDonlds. there is no sign about TREA in window look for the vetrans service office)

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James Bogan   President.   PO Box 52     Marina, CA 93933-0052
              831-384-0606          831-384-8177

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Fort Ord Chapter Centrial California Coast,

This is a test Web Page for TREA chapter 55  this is a copy of "The Otter" and other information by Vern Toler Chapter Member

President Blip: Another month has passed and I encourage everyone to get on board quickly before the year will be
gone. Each of us must make a personal commitment to get involved to change the direction of Chapter 55 into a more
improved organization.

The Fund raiser has been a success thus far. I would like to say "thank you very much"  for the great results.

We now have four schools JROTC programs to sponsor.

As we grows older, we can expect changes in our lives.  Changes are sometimes welcome, sometimes dreaded, but
healthy adults realize that it is inevitable. Keep searching for the good.  Do you see the cup half full or half empty?  People who see the cup half-full are able to handle the changes much better.  They have a positive mental attitude.

Work at developing an outlook in life that say "the best is yet to come." We in TREA should look to see if we can
see the possibilities and opportunities in all new situations.   s/James Bogan, President.

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TREA Color Guard at the Sandiego Convention

Belopw are snapshots from the 17 October 2002 TREA55 meeting.

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check this out as an example for our web page:

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below are some links of intrest to TREA members.    TREA Home Page     Links offered by TREA The Retired Enlisted Association                  TROA  The Retired Officers Association     Military Living  Publications for military lifestile   Has links for PX etc.           A large web page dedicated to the military.

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The Central Coast Veterans Cemetery Foundation's mission is to establish and maintain the State Veterans Cemetery which will be  located in the Parker Flats area of Fort Ord.  The  State has mandated us to be responsible for maintenance and
upkeep of the grounds.

We have reached another critical stage in the legislative process!  The only thing that will keep our efforts alive is to demonstrate that we can raise a substantial amount of funds on a yearly basis for the ongoing upkeep and maintenance of the
cemetery.  We have to do this in a very short time frame.  In order to accomplish this mission we need the support of your organanization and individual members to contribute and or pledge financial assistance.

Memorial tiles will be made available for individual donations, which will be placed on a Memorial Wall at the cemetery..  The cost will range from $250 for a bronze tile, $500 for a Silver, $1000 for Gold and Platinum for $5000 or more.

Your assistance and generosity to this cause is greatly appreciated and we look forward to accomplish this endeavor with your financial support.

Faithful to Veterans

Charlie Eskridge, Executive Director

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      this article copied from the Hearld website as an example of information for TREA55 web page

  Posted on Wed, Apr. 24, 2002

  Panel backs Fort Ord veterans cemetery
  Senate bill now heads to Appropriations Committee
  A bill that would create a state-owned veterans cemetery at Fort Ord was passed unanimously by the state Senate
  Veterans Committee Tuesday and will go before the Senate Appropriations Committee next month.

  The hearing chamber in Sacramento was packed with veterans' delegations, including a group of 30 from Monterey County and   others throughout Northern California, said Morris Dickson of the Monterey County United Veterans Council, which represents some   40 veterans' organizations.

  Senate Bill 1457, introduced Feb. 15 by state Sen. Bruce McPherson, R-Santa Cruz, requires the state Department of Veterans   Affairs, in cooperation with the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, to design, develop and construct a state-owned and   state-operated Central Coast Veterans Cemetery at Fort Ord.

  "A lot of vets came" to advocate the cemetery bill before the seven-member Veterans Committee, said McPherson spokesman Adam   Mendelsohn. "It's a popular issue."

  If the Appropriations Committee sends the bill forward, he said, the next step will be a vote on the Senate floor. The bill then would   go on to the Assembly. Approval by both houses of the Legislature will send it to Gov. Gray Davis for signature.

  Also present at the hearing was 4th District Monterey County Supervisor Edith Johnsen, who assured the committee that the county   supports creation of the cemetery.

  The bill is being co-authored by Assemblyman Simon Salinas, D-Salinas. It would give the state Veterans Department responsibility   to oversee and coordinate the design, development and construction of the cemetery, establish fees for burial of veterans' spouses   and children, and set up a Central Coast Veterans Cemetery master development fund and perpetual maintenance fund.

  The key to getting approval by the Appropriations Committee and the Legislature will be concrete financial support from local
  veterans' organizations and the public, Dickson said.

  A Central Coast Veterans Foundation board will have to be organized to run a nonprofit corporation for year-to-year operation of the   cemetery, Dickson said.

  Proposed is a nine-member board, including four members from Monterey County chosen from the United Veterans Council, and one   each from the counties of San Benito, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz.

  Application forms for membership on the foundation board may be obtained from Dickson, who is serving as interim foundation   chairman, at the county Military and Veterans Services Offices in Salinas, Marina or Monterey.

  Completed forms may be mailed to the office at 265 Reservation Road, Marina 93933. (this is where TREA55 holds its meetings)

  Kevin Howe can be reached at 646-4416

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Nov. 8, 2001


                           Rep. Farr gets $300,000 for Salinas city pool

(Washington, DC) – In a federal spending bill passed today by the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Sam Farr,
(D-Carmel) secured $300,000 in funding for a public indoor pool complex in Salinas.

The $112.7 billion bill, known as HR 2620, funds the Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development departments, the
Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science
Foundation and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).

The $8 million, 40,000 to 50,000 square-foot indoor pool complex will include a 50-meter pool that can be used for national
championships, and a shallow-deep water pool, suitable for water aerobics, diving and water slides.

The $300,000 funding, in addition to $400,000 that Rep. Farr secured for the pool in last year's Veterans Affairs and Housing
and Urban Development spending bill, brings the total federal funds that Rep. Farr has secured for the project to $700,000.

"We're delighted," said Gary Davis, recreation and parks director for the city of Salinas. "We have been trying to either
renovate or replace the municipal pool for some years now. We've been trying to assemble a sufficient amount of money to
accomplish this, and this $300,000 will have a significant impact on moving the project forward."

"This pool complex will be a great community facility, and it will also allow Salinas to host national swimming competitions,
which will boost revenues for area hotels, restaurants and stores," Rep. Farr said.

"Salinas's population has grown substantially since 1949, when the old pool was built, so this project is sorely needed," Rep.
Farr added.

After the bill passed in both houses earlier this year, negotiators from the House and the Senate met in conference to resolve the
differences between the two versions. The final bill passed easily this afternoon in the House by a vote of 401-18. It goes next
to the Senate. After both houses have approved it, the bill will be sent to President Bush for his signature.

Thanks to a provision introduced by Rep. Sam Farr, the U.S. House of Representatives has reaffirmed that California has
priority when applying for funding to create a veterans' cemetery at Fort Ord.

"States are responsible for maintaining and operating the cemeteries, as well as purchasing the land," Rep. Farr said. "But
fortunately for the Central Coast, the land for the Fort Ord cemetery is free because of the base closure.

"This bill will give California priority when it submits an application for a federal grant to establish a veterans' cemetery." added
Rep. Farr, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee. "It is now up to California to do its part and complete the study
that will determine how much this cemetery will cost."

In the bill, the House Appropriations Committee recommended a budget of $25 million for construction grants for state
veterans' cemeteries in fiscal year 2002.

Last year, at the urging of Rep. Farr, Gov. Gray Davis signed into law a state law that identified Fort Ord as the site for a new
veterans' cemetery.

"On the eve of Veteran's Day, we owe it to those who have protected our freedom and defended our nation to provide a fitting
site for a veteran's cemetery," Rep. Farr said at the time. "Within 75 miles of the proposed cemetery at Parker Flats, there are
33,000 veterans who might otherwise have to be buried at one of the two national cemeteries, which are hours away." For
years, Congressman Farr has worked with veterans of Monterey County to establish a local veteran's cemetery. He has
testified before congressional committees and lobbied colleagues for increasing federal funds for building veteran's cemeteries,
and his efforts have paid off:

     For the last few years, the federal government has appropriated $25 million a year to the veteran's cemetery construction
     account – up from $10 million a year in previous years.
     At the congressman's urging, the House Veterans Affairs Committee has increased the federal government's contribution
     to cemetery construction. The federal government previously paid only 50 percent and now pays 100 percent.
     The Veterans Administration has been urged to give priority consideration to California applicants.

 © 2001 mcherald and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
                                    above copied from this website.

 Vern Toler is the temporary web master for this site, contact me at and visit my web page at  click on the bars to check out some of the other web sites I have set up (with Help of grandson ChrisPetrell the TREA55 webpage is part of my webpage.

comments from Vern Toler. I founded TREA55 when Fort Ord was an active post and was hoping to be an active member of Chapter 55 but my wife decided on a motor home life style, so now I only get to visit a couple times a year.....
I hope this web site takes off and becomes a good tool for communication for our members who are located in many parts of the central coast of California.

As TREA is also a social organization I would like to make a suggestion, that each month at a "Country Buufey" or something similar we hold a "social get together" in different areas. it should be at 1400 hours. Less crowed, lunch menu so it would be cheaper, during the day it would be easy for older members to travel due to difficult night driving, if it was in different locations other than the Fort Ord our members could attend who find the driving distance to our meetings in marina too far. if a member that attends the regular meeting can pass on and receive information for our chapter. If you think this would be a good idea contact one of the chapter officers or  this isn't my invention, it works great for two RV clubs I belong to, SMART a military travel club and FMCA a Motor Coach Club.
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To get a free e-mail address if you are not on the Internet. Go to your local library, Kinko’s or a cyber café tell them you want to use the internet, then click on the Yahoo icon or type in a search bar  when you get Yahoo click on the e-mail icon it then will take you to the log on page, which will have an area for new users, click on the one that says “free” 6 mb which is more than you will ever need, they will then give you a form to fill out, you will design your own address and pass word.  It will also ask you some personnel information, if you don’t want to give the information, which is used for advertisements, you can enter miss-information and it will work anyway since you are talking to a robot.   There are many free e-mail addresses on the web. I like and use yahoo since it separates a lot of spam from your e-mail page. I find yahoo is easy for travel since it is common and found in most libraries, and once I am on yahoo I can request “other mail” which will access your other e-mail address.  When I order something on the web I use the yahoo address since any company you contact will start sending you advertisement, that way I am not bothered with adds with my regular address for friends.    e-mail does not let you have spaces so if you want to seperate a word you must use an underline  _. example vern_toler  S/  or

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CG Rod note Red,White & Blue rod to seperate articles taken from the USCG web site

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