Reject Military Pay and Benefits Cuts

MOAA members are some of the most engaged citizens in the country. We’ve dedicated our lives to service before self, and we know what it means to never stop serving.

I’m proud of how much we’ve accomplished this year. We’ve helped pass several important pieces of legislation to help veterans and military families. To date, MOAA members have sent over 240,000 messages to their elected officials this year. That’s more than any other military or veterans service organization on Capitol Hill.

But we need your help.

Over the next two weeks, members of Congress may leave Washington without having completed an annual defense bill. Members of the Armed Services committees were confident they could complete their work before returning to their home districts.

Some of the proposals up for debate in the defense bill are a bad deal for the military community, including:

  • pay raises that fail to keep pace with the private sector;
  • dramatic pharmacy fee increases;
  • erosions to housing allowances; and
  • continued cuts to commissaries.

These shortsighted decisions will have a long-term effect on the future of America’s military.

Fortunately, House lawmakers passed a defense bill that rejected these cost-cutting measures. But our friends in the Senate accepted them.

Some lawmakers operate under the faulty assumption that we need to cut military pay and benefits to fund readiness programs. The fact is, we need both.

We have one last chance. It’s up to you to tell lawmakers we cannot afford to erode the pay and benefits of the all-volunteer force.

TAKE ACTION NOW! Click here to make your voice heard.

NGAI Alert; 11 July 2015

Dear NGAI Members,
The deadline for the NGAUS summer conference is quickly approaching. Reservations and registrations should be done as soon as possible!

chairhighresNGAUS Nashville 2015
(Gaylord Hotel reservation deadline 30 July)
September 9-13
Room reservation and registration: www.ngai.net/2015-ngaus-registration/
• Wednesday Sept. 9 – Sponsor’s Golf (by invitation)
• Thursday Sept. 10 – Golf or Bike Ride to Jack Daniels, NGAI TAG Welcome, TAG Reception, CGO/WO Mixer
• Friday Sept. 11 – Opening session, Governor’s Reception (Exhibit Hall)
• Saturday Sept. 12 – Day 2 business and Hospitality Night
• Sunday Sept. 13 – Final business and States Dinner, Special Opry Night (Country Western attire)

Thanks to all of you for your support.

Mike Sturm
Executive Director
National Guard Association of Indiana

EANGUS Legislative Alert #2015-10; 2 July 2015

EANGUS Legislative Alert: Aviation Restructure Initiative

Rep Granger & Rep Womack Letter regarding the Army’s Aviation Restructure Initiative

The EANGUS National Office is working hard to stop the Army’s Aviation Restructure Initiative (ARI). We ask EANGUS members to click on the hyperlinked letter below and encourage your Member of Congress to sign the Granger Womack Letter.

Click here for letter

Take action: Click here

EANGUS Legislative Alert #2015-9; 1 July 2015

EANGUS Legislative Alert: FLORICH Act
EANGUS supports H.R. 2852, the Founding Legacies of Reserve Integral Combat-training Heroes (FLORICH) Act. This legislation addresses the disparity of burial privileges for members of the National Guard who are killed in training missions alongside their active-duty counterparts.

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

EANGUS 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. EANGUS also supports 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 servicemember also perishes.
Take action: Click here

EANGUS Legislative Alert #2015-8; 30 June 2015

Veterans’ Mental Health Care Access Act

EANGUS strongly supports the Veterans’ Mental Health Care Access Act, which 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.

EANGUS 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 utmost 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. The Veterans’ Mental Health Care Access Act offers this choice.

Take action: Click here

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