NGAUS Legislative Alert #15-14; 29 June 2015

The Issue: Ask your representatives to support H.R. 1604, the Veterans’ Mental Health Care Access Act, sponsored by Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-NJ.

Immediate Action Required: Ask your representatives to support H.R. 1604, the Veterans’ Mental Health Care Access Act, sponsored by Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-NJ.

More Information: NGAUS strongly supports the Veterans’ Mental Health Care Access Act, a bill that would allow veterans to seek immediate mental health care at any facility eligible to receive reimbursement through the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

NGAUS is committed to improving the care of our nation’s veterans. Securing mental health services for our nation’s veterans who need immediate and confidential help is of the upmost importance if our nation is to comprehensively address the high incidences of suicide, substance abuse, and traumatic stress in this community. Veterans are not the only ones who face these challenges in our country, and they should be able to take advantage of other federal, state, local and community-based confidential care that is open to all Americans. This bill offers them this choice.

Please contact your representatives and urge them to support this bill.

NGAUS Point of Contact:
Grace Washbourne
Joint Programs Manager
202-408-5893
grace.washbourne@ngaus.org

Take action: Click here

NGAUS Legislative Alert #13-15; 26 June 2015

The Issue: Remedy the burial privileges disparity for members of the National Guard

Immediate Action Required: Ask your representative to support H.R. 2852, the Founding Legacies of Reserve Integral Combat-training Heroes (FLORICH) Act, sponsored by Rep. Garret Graves, R-La.

More Information: NGAUS strongly supports H.R. 2852, the Founding Legacies of Reserve Integral Combat-training Heroes (FLORICH) Act, which addresses the disparity of burial privileges for members of the National Guard who are killed in training missions alongside their active-duty counterparts.
NGAUS is committed to ensuring the brave men and women of the National Guard are eligible to receive the same burial privileges as members of the active component. Rep. Graves’ legislation was introduced in response to the tragic training accident off the coast of Florida in March that resulted in the death of Staff Sgt. Thomas Florich of the Louisiana Army National Guard. Florich and three other Guardsmen were participating in a training exercise with a group of seven Marines, all of whom died when their UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter went down.

The Army initially deemed Florich ineligible for burial at Arlington National Cemetery because he died while training. In June, the Army reversed its decision and granted Florich interment at Arlington following advocacy efforts by the Florich family, the general public and members of Congress.

NGAUS applauds Army Secretary John McHugh’s decision to allow Florich to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as his announcement of an internal review of the exemption policy. However, we support Rep. Graves’ legislation that would prevent families of fallen Guardsmen in the future from enduring unnecessary hardships and delays caused by the current policy. H.R. 2852 would create a narrow exemption to current policy by affording burial privileges at Arlington National Cemetery to members of the reserve component who die while carrying out a mission during which an active-duty service member also perishes.

Please contact your representative and urge them to support this bill.

NGAUS Point of Contact:
Matt Pincus
202.408.5897
matt.pincus@ngaus.org

Take Action: Click here

NGAUS Legislative Alert #15-12; 24 June 2015

The Issue: Improve pain management services provided veterans by the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Immediate Action Required: Ask your senators to support S. 1641, the Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act, sponsored by Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-WI.

More Information: NGAUS strongly supports the Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act, a bill that would strengthen the Department of Veterans Affairs opioid prescribing guidelines and improve pain management services.

NGAUS is committed to improving the care of our nation’s veterans. On August 30, 2014, U.S. Marine veteran Jason Simcakoski died in the Tomah Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center as a result of mixed drug toxicity. Unfortunately, his tragic story is shared by veterans of all our nation’s wars. Ensuring that the use of pain medication in treating our veterans is closely monitored and correctly administered is an important step in making sure that what happened to veteran Jason Simcakoski will never happen again to any veteran.

This comprehensive bill strengthens guidelines, improves safety measures, promotes research and education, creates working groups and boards, and gives the VA the tools it needs to create opioid therapy guidelines and standards. The establishment of a patient advocacy office and other oversight measures puts reforms in place to help address the pain challenges facing our veterans who need help and care.

Please contact your Senators and urge them to support this bill.

NGAUS Point of Contact:
Grace Washbourne
Joint Programs Manager
202-408-5893
grace.washbourne@ngaus.org

Take action: Click here

NGAI Alert #15-3; 23 June 2015

Dear NGAI Member,
Please see the NGAUS alerts linked below on three very important issues. Please take a few minutes to read the alerts and then take action by clicking on each link. While NGAUS and EANGUS are doing a great job communicating our guard story, our Representatives need to hear it from you:

NGAUS Legislative Alert #15-9
The Issue: Support House NDAA FY16 language securing Veterans’ Status for members of the Guard and Reserve

Immediate Action Required: Contact your representatives and senators immediately to support the language in the House National Defense Authorization Act for FY16 that provides veterans’ status to members of the National Guard and Reserve.

read more

NGAUS Legislative Alert #15-10
The Issue: Prevent the reduction in Army National Guard end strength and halt the transfer of AH-64s from the National Guard in FY2016

Immediate Action Required: Ask your representatives to sign onto a letter encouraging the leaders of the House defense committees to prevent potentially damaging and irreversible cuts to the Army National Guard.

read more

NGAUS Legislative Alert #15-11
The Issue: Modernize the Guard’s Black Hawk fleet.

Immediate Action Required: Ask your Senators and Representatives to support the House Armed Services and House Appropriations versions of the FY16 defense bills which authorize and appropriate $138.8M for 8 additional UH-60M helicopters for the Army National Guard.

read more

16th Annual Car Show
The weather looks promising for our Car Show this Saturday at the Indiana War Memorial, so bring the family out and enjoy the day. There will be prizes, music, food and some very classy things on wheels. Or, better yet, get your classic out of storage and enter it in the competition. All proceeds benefit the Education Grant Fund, https://www.ngai.net/car-show

EANGUS and NGAUS Conference registration
Don’t forget that registration is open for EANGUS Indy and NGAUS Nashville, TN. For information and registration, visit the www.NGAI.net home page which has links to both conferences.

Thanks,.
Mike Sturm
Executive Director
National Guard Association of Indiana

NGAUS Legislative Alert #15-11; 23 June 2015

The Issue: Modernize the Guard’s Black Hawk fleet.

Immediate Action Required: Ask your Senators and Representatives to support the House Armed Services and House Appropriations versions of the FY16 defense bills which authorize and appropriate $138.8M for 8 additional UH-60M helicopters for the Army National Guard.

More Information: The UH-60 Black Hawk remains the Army National Guard’s go-to rotary wing aviation asset to respond to state emergency missions and to support overseas contingency operations. While Black Hawks from the Army National Guard are currently supporting missions overseas, Army National Guard Black Hawks have also been activated for general aviation support to state emergencies including floods, wildfires and other domestic needs.

However, more than a decade of high operational tempo has taken a toll on the Army National Guard Black Hawk fleet. Currently, the Army National Guard operates 849 Black Hawks, with approximately 350 of these aircraft being the older UH-60A models with an average age exceeding 25 years. In order for the Army National Guard Black Hawk fleet to remain viable and mission capable, these older UH-60As need to be modernized or replaced as quickly as possible. It is projected that the Army National Guard will not retire its last UH-60A until 2025, while the active component will retire its last UH-60A in 2018.

Increased congressional funding will accelerate the fielding of new UH-60M helicopters to the Army National Guard to close the gap and ensure the Black Hawk helicopter fleet is capable of meeting the requirements of domestic and overseas missions.

NGAUS Point of Contact:
Andrea Peterson
Army Programs Manager
202-408-5884
andrea.peterson@ngaus.org

Take action: Click here

NGAUS Legislative Alert #15-10; 23 June 2015

The Issue: Prevent the reduction in Army National Guard end strength and halt the transfer of AH-64s from the National Guard in FY2016

Immediate Action Required: Ask your representatives to sign onto a letter encouraging the leaders of the House defense committees to prevent potentially damaging and irreversible cuts to the Army National Guard

More Information:
Reps. Kay Granger, R-Texas, Steve Womack, R-Ark., and Keith Rothfus, R-Pa., are circulating a letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House Armed Services Committee and Defense Appropriations Subcommittee encouraging them to halt the transfer of AH-64 Apaches from the Army National Guard. The letter also encourages the committee leaders to stop reductions in Army National Guard end strength and full-time support until FY2017.

The FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act established the National Commission on the Future of the Army to make recommendations on the balance between the active and reserve components as well as weigh in on the Army’s controversial Aviation Restructure Initiative. The commission is set to report its recommendations in February 2016. It is vital that Congress have time to review the commission’s findings before moving forward with potentially damaging and irreversible personnel reductions and equipment cuts to the Army National Guard.

The House and Senate have passed their respective FY2016 defense authorization bills. Committee leaders in both chambers have expressed hope that conferees can work quickly to resolve the differences between the two legislative packages and produce a final conference report before the August recess.

NGAUS urges you to contact your representatives and ask them to sign this letter that encourages committee leadership to prevent these changes to the National Guard until Congress is able to review the commission’s report.

NGAUS Point of Contact:
Andrea Peterson
Army Programs Manager
202-408-5884
andrea.peterson@ngaus.org

Take action: Click here

NGAUS Legislative Alert #15-9; 22 June 2015

The Issue: Support House NDAA FY16 language securing Veterans’ Status for members of the Guard and Reserve

Immediate Action Required: Contact your representatives and senators immediately to support the language in the House National Defense Authorization Act for FY16 that provides veterans’ status to members of the National Guard and Reserve

More Information: NGAUS strongly supports the House language in the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that provides veterans’ status to all members of National Guard and Reserve that have served 20 years, regardless of status.

Currently, the Veterans Code, Title 38, excludes from the definition of “veteran” career reservists who have not served on Title 10 active duty for other than training purposes. Title 32 drill training, annual training, vital day-to-day support operations, and emergency response to terrorism and natural disasters under Chapter 502(f) are currently not considered qualifying service for Veteran status.

• Veterans status legislation would be cost neutral by not awarding any other veterans benefit

• Reserve component members who served twenty years standing ready to be sent anywhere in the world, but through no fault of their own were never deployed could refer to themselves as veterans

• Requiring Title 10 active duty for other than training purposes service to acquire veteran status disrespects and ignores often dangerous Title 32 active duty service in support of the homeland

• A double standard should not exist that denies veterans status to the reserve component for 20 years of honorable domestic service, but awards veterans status and full benefits to active duty soldiers who serve shorter term Title 10 active duty tours

• Authorizing veteran status for career RC service would boost the morale of the RC members and their families

Please contact your representatives and Senators and urge them to support the House language in the NDAA conference

NGAUS Point of Contact:
Grace Washbourne
Joint Program Manager
202-408-5893
grace.washbourne@ngaus.org

Take action: Click here.

EANGUS Legislative Alert #2015-06; 8 June 2015

On Monday, June 8, 2015, the United States Senate will begin debate on amendments to the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. Over 300 amendments have been filed for consideration to date. The Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS) National Office, in Washington, D.C. has worked with Senate offices to introduce amendments pertaining to Veteran Status for Guardsmen, increase survivor benefits, and exempt technicians from furlough in the event of a Federal Government shutdown, to name a few.

Please click the button below to view the EANGUS Legislative Alert, and contact your Senate Offices in Washington, D.C., for support of some very important, Guard and Reserve-specific amendments.

Thank you for your support for the National Guard and EANGUS.

Take Action: Click Here