So THIS is how they honor our Veterans
and pay for their tax cuts for the rich !

This program is to buy congress off to allow the Republican led assault on Veteran's benefits, particularly non-combat related health care for retired Veterans who have had those benefits for a LONG time.

----- Original Message -----
From: [92nd Assault Helicopter Company Member]
To: [92nd Assault Helicopter Company Group]
Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2003 12:46 PM
Subject: Combat-Related Special Compensation Program.

CRSC Update 4: The Department of Defense, working together with the
Department of Veteran Affairs, announced the start of a new compensation
program for many disabled military retirees referred to as "Combat-Related
Special Compensation (CRSC)". The new special compensation becomes
effective May 31, 2003, for qualified combat-related disabled retirees.
Payments for qualified retirees will accrue beginning June 1, 2003, with
first payments possible on 1 JUL 03. Eligible Members are those retirees
who have 20 years of service for retired pay computation and who either
have disabilities because of combat injuries for which they have been
awarded the Purple Heart or who are rated at least 60 percent disabled
because of armed conflict, hazardous duty, training exercises, or mishaps
involving military equipment.  Payments will equal the amount of VA
disability compensation for combat-related disabilities, but will be
reduced for those retirees whose retired pay exceeds what they would have
received for length of service. Payments are limited to the amount of the
retired pay reduction resulting from receipt of VA disability compensation.
The payments are considered to be tax exempt pending a review by the Armed
Forces Tax Council.

     Members must apply to their own branch of service using DD form 2860,
Application for Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) which can be
found at .  The CRSC web site provides details on where and how to
apply.  Each Uniformed Service will review the applications of their own
retirees, with the Department of the Navy reviewing applications for both
the Navy and Marine Corps. Payments will be retroactive to June 1, 2003,
for all approved applications, no matter when received, to the extent
otherwise allowed in law, providing the applicant is otherwise qualified.
Service reviews will determine which disabilities, if any, are
combat-related or are the result of an injury for which the member was
awarded a Purple Heart. Combat-Related includes those disabilities that are
the direct result of armed conflict or from conditions that simulate
combat, or that result from the performance of uniquely hazardous military
duties, or caused by an instrumentality of war. Services will presume that
disabilities awarded VA disability compensation based on service-connected
exposure to hazards, which are clearly combat-related, are combat-related
for the purpose of CRSC. These include Agent Orange, Gulf War illnesses ,
Radiation Exposure, Mustard Gas and Lewisite.  Post-Traumatic Stress
Disorder (PTSD) will require combat-related documentation. Retirees will be
informed of denied applications and the reason for denial. They may reapply
later if they are able to show they meet the program criteria or appeal the
decision if they believe their disabilities were combat-related, but were
denied compensation by their Service. [Source: 23 MAY 03]


Other rather pointed Veterans developments in the republiakan camp.

Concurrent Receipt Update 10:  On May 23, 2003, Congressman Jim Marshall
(D-GA), a combat disabled veteran of the Vietnam War, filed a discharge
petition regarding H.R. 303.  This is a bill to permit retired members of
the Armed Forces to receive both military retirement pay and disability
compensation [i.e. Concurrent Receipt] from the Department of Veterans
Affairs. A discharge petition is an official motion to relieve a committee
of its responsibilities over a given piece of legislation. Essentially, the
bill is taken out of committee and forced to the floor of the full House
for a vote. Congressman Marshall's discharge petition would take H.R. 303
from the House Veterans' Affairs Committee and require the full House to
vote on concurrent receipt. To succeed, a discharge petition requires the
signatures of a majority of members of the House or 218 out of the 435
representatives. To date, 292 members of the House (143 Democrats, 148
Republicans, 1 Independent) have cosponsored H.R. 303. It would appear that
if sincere support for concurrent receipt exists, Congressman Marshall's
discharge petition should pass. However, disabled military retirees carry
the bitter knowledge that, in the past, such apparent support has instantly
withered when called upon.

     Meanwhile, in the Senate the Senate parliamentarian ruled that
concurrent receipt was not relevant to the National Defense Authorization
bill and removed the amendment to end the offset.  Senators taking
exception to the ruling found that a special rule had been inserted in the
dead of night last week severely limiting floor amendment options for the
FY2004 Defense Authorization Bill.  At 2:30 AM last Friday morning, after
the final action on the tax cut bill, Senate leaders asked "unanimous
consent" that only "relevant" amendments would be considered for action on
the defense bill. Under unanimous consent rules, a proposal is adopted by
the Senate if there is no objection from any senator, and none of the few
remaining senators on the floor at the time did so. Under arcane Senate
rules, the "relevancy" test requires that the amendment must relate
specifically to a provision already in the bill under consideration.  The
rule was aimed at blocking the expected flood of amendments and ensuring
that the full Senate would wrap up its version of the bill before the
Memorial Day recess. Unfortunately, it also effectively barred
consideration of much-needed improvements for survivors and disabled
retirees, since the defense bill did not already contain provisions on
those issues. Among the amendments that failed the so-called relevancy rule

n       Sen. Harry Reid's (D-NV) amendment to end the disability offset to
retired pay;
n       Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) proposal to make otherwise-qualifying
combat-disabled Guard. and Reserve retirees eligible for the new
combat-related special compensation; and
n       Sen Mary Landrieu's (D-LA) initiative to phase out the SBP benefit
reduction for military survivors age 62 and older.
It is apparent that congressional leaders' reluctance to address what they
see as expensive benefit changes that the Bush Administration doesn't
support is taking its toll on veterans benefits and that President Bush
will continue to maneuver to kill these issues.
[Source: DAV msg 23 May 03, MOAA Leg UP 23 MAY 03, &  FRA NEWSBYTES 23 May 03]


Bush Launches Reelection Campaign: President Bush launched his re-election
bid on 16 MAY by formally filing papers to seek a second term.  On orders
issued by the president late last week, a White House clerk hand-delivered
and filed the formal notice of Bush's intentions at the Federal Election
Commission. The step allows the president to raise money, hire staff and
open a campaign headquarters. Final details are being made on a campaign
headquarters in northern Virginia.  Ken Mehlman, White House political
director and a Rove protege, will be campaign manager.

      Bush expressed his concern for veterans in his 2000 campaign.  He
said, "To the veteran, we owe gratitude -- shown not just in words of
tribute, but in acts of care and attention. ... As president, I will work
with Congress to raise the standard of service -- not just for veterans,
but for our military retirees. All of them must be treated with the care
they have been promised and the dignity they have earned." Then Governor
Bush spoke those words to the American Legion in Milwaukee WI, on Sept. 6,
2000, and replicated them throughout his campaign.  At a Memorial Day
breakfast in the East Room on May 28, 2001, he said "America's veterans ask
only that government honor its commitments as they honored theirs. They ask
that their interests be protected, as they protected their country's
interest in foreign lands. In all matters of concern to veterans -- from
health care to program funding -- you have my pledge that those commitments
will be kept. My administration will do all it can to assist our veterans
and to correct oversights of the past."  To allow him to fulfill these
promises veterans need to communicate their concerns to his administration
and their congressmen so they will get the priority they deserve.

       If vets are unable to convince him otherwise, it is doubtful that
retired disabled veterans will see passage of a Concurrent Pay bill while
he remains in office since he has consistently threatened to veto any bill
containing Concurrent Receipt [CR] benefits.  As with most issues elected
officials take the most expedient resolutions if their constituents do not
get their attention.  We have obviously failed to do this in regards to
CR.   Some other issues his administration to date has allowed, proposed or
introduced follow.  While congress has shot some of these down a few are
still open issues that will become reality or return in another
form.  Veterans must remain vigilant to ensure their benefits are not
further degraded.

·       Proposed Social Security benefits to disabled veterans and the
families of service members killed on active duty to drop as much as 10
percent by eliminating a $1,200 Social Security wage credit for uniformed
service personnel. in a proposal being advanced by the Bush administration.

·       Allowed two Air National Guard pilots to be charged as criminals
for mistakenly bombing Canadian troops during the war in Afghanistan.
·       Proposed capping active duty, Guard and Reserve members' 2004 pay
raise at 2 percent and shifting to a different standard to cut their raises
in future years.
·       Proposed an extension of presidential authority to order Reserve
component members to active duty for natural and manmade disasters and
catastrophes that would circumvent the State or Territory Governor's authority.
·       Asked that all eleven judges on a federal appeals court rehear
arguments and reverse a February ruling by a three-judge panel that found
the government illegally breached its promise of lifetime health care to as
many as 1.5 million elderly military retirees.
·       During the 107th Congress better than 80% of the House and Senate
co-sponsored legislation to restore full lifetime medical care to former
career military personnel and their families.  As a result of a VETO threat
by President Bush, the Speaker of the House refused to permit the
legislation to be voted on.
·       Proposed a plan to close down military commissaries.
·       Included provisions in his 2004 Budget submission for veterans
whose disabilities are not service connected and who don't pass the "means
test" to  face a $250 a year enrollment fee. They also would see
co-payments for outpatient visits jump 33 percent, from $15 to $20, and
find prescription drug co-payments more than doubled, from $7 to $15.
Further, long-term nursing home care would be restricted to veterans with a
disability rating of 70 percent or greater.
·       Proposed Medicare payments allocated to hospitals to cover many
drugs and outpatient medical procedures to be reduced sharply.
·       Proposed a plan that would force 700,000 military retirees, most of
them disabled, to choose between the VA health care system or the military
medical system but they could no longer use both in the same year.
·       Threatened to veto the 2004 NDAA bill if it did not include desired
language on base closure.  The Bush administration and DoD want to shut
down about 30% of the bases within the United States during the 2005
closure proceedings which will impact adversely on many veterans.

·       [Source: Summary of reported White House events & actions since 2000]
                                                Lt. James "EMO" Tichacek, USN (Ret)
                      Director, Retiree Activities Office & U.S. Embassy Warden Baguio City RP
                                               PSC 517 Box RCB, FPO AP 96517-1000
                        Tel: (63-74) 442-7135 or stateside FAX to email service 1-801-760-2430
                    Email: (Primary) & (Alternate)

Get paid $300 tax-cut for Standard Membership.
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Special Memberships for people with allot of money, especially low character and will lie for the Amarikan movement without questions.