NGAUS Legislative Alert #16-2; 2 February 2016

The Issue: The legislation seeks to increase rural participation in the National Guard and Reserves by reforming an arbitrary $300 reimbursement cap for members traveling to training exercises and activities.

Immediate Action Required: Contact your representatives immediately and ask them to support H.R. 4424, the Rural Guard Act of 2016, a bill sponsored by Rep. Don Young, D-Alaska.

More Information: NGAUS strongly supports H.R. 4424, the Rural Guard Act of 2016, amending Title 37, United States Code, to increase the maximum reimbursement amount authorized for travel expenses incurred by certain members of the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve to attend inactive duty training outside of normal commuting distances.

Specifically, the Rural Guard Act of 2016 modifies existing law by removing a $300 reimbursement cap, on a case by case basis, if the National Guard or Reserve member:

1) lives in the state in which the training occurs,
2) lives in a rural area, and
3) travels to Guard or Reserve training using a boat or aircraft due to limited or nonexistent vehicular routes, or from a permanent residence located more than 75 miles from the training location.

The bi-partisan bill is also co-sponsored by Rep. Mark Takai (D-HI), Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN), Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT), Rep. Steve Palazzo (R-MS), Rep. Richard Nugent (R-FL), Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Rep. Brad Ashford (D-NE), and Rep. Thomas Rooney(R-FL).

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

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

Take Action: Click here

NGAI Alert #3; 29 January 2016

NGAI Members & Friends,
We are honored to announce that Lieutenant General Joseph Lengyel, Vice Chief, National Guard Bureau, has accepted our invitation as guest of honor for our annual NGAI Conference in French Lick. Registration is open for the conference and there is more information later in this update.

Our top priority right now is our state legislative effort. We are off to a good start, but we need you to ask your representatives and senators to support our military and veteran bills. Without your voice, these bills are always at risk to be killed. You can stay informed on the current status by checking our website link, Track Military/Veteran related bills, www.hannah-in.com/Report_Custom.aspx?sid=k9nnjUaW23c%3d&rid=Eg6LcUPqq%2bU%3d

2016 NGAI Public Policy Objectives Update
HB1313 Hoosier Veterans
The Indiana House committee on Veteran’s Affairs and Public Safety met on 1-26-16 and voted on HB1313.01. The committee voted 13 to 0 in favor of the bill. Here is a link to see who is on the committee and the results of the vote. http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2016/bills/house/1313#document-934e9324.

It has now passed a second reading and is eligible for a third reading Monday, 1 February with a deadline of Wednesday, 3 February. While we are very close, it could still be derailed on the third reading. Please continue to ask your state representatives to support HB 1313.

Next, starting February 9, it will be heard by the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs & the Military. The committee is chaired by Sen Jim Banks who is also LTJG Banks, USNR. http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2016/committees/veterans_affairs_the_military. Please encourage your senators, especially those on the committee to support Hoosier Veterans.

NGAI 2016 Calendar and January Winners
The 2016 NGAI Calendar raffle winners have been drawn. February through December winners will be announced during their winning month. Please watch our website at www.ngai.net as we will be posting winners as they are announced.

Look for the 2017 NGAI Calendar raffle to begin at the 2016 NGAI Annual Conference. We will have full details about the 2017 raffle at French Lick in April.

Our January winners are:
#1 – Mark Dirksen, Muncie, IN – Mossberg 702 Plinkster, Caliber: 22 GA
#2 – Rick Tryon, Terre Haute, IN – Micro Carry STS, Caliber:.380 ACP
#3 – Steve Thompson, Cayuga, IN – XD-9 3’ Blk Pistol, Caliber: 9 MM
Calls have been placed to the winners with instructions sent on how to claim their weapon.

Call for Nominations
We are currently seeking individuals who wish to serve on the NGAI Board of Directors. If you or someone you know wishes to serve please have them fill out the attached Nomination Form, attach at current photo and send to linda@ngai.net NLT 6 February 2016. Board members serve for 3 years and one third of the board is up for reelection each year. The attached document includes a list of expectations for those who serve. CLICK 2016 BOD Call for Nomination info and fillable form to download the info and nomination form.

NGAI 2016 Annual Conference, French Lick, IN
21-24 April 2016
Our annual conference registration is now online at www.ngai.net. Follow this link to register for the conference. Also available is a form to assist in making hotel reservations. Use code 0416NGA to get the conference rates of $109 plus tax per night at French Lick; $189 plus tax per night at West Baden. All reservations should be made directly with the hotel. Rates and room availability through March 31, 2016 so please don’t delay in making reservations.

Sign up for the Saturday night States Dinner, Friday Golf Outing, 5K Run, Business Meeting, Retiree Breakfast with MG Carr (CGOs and E5 & below invited at no cost), Guest Brunch, Small Arms Defensive Course/Live Firing and a second guest event still to be scheduled. Questions should be directed to Linda at 317-247-3196 or via email at Linda@ngai.net. Agendas will be posted online in mid-February.

Thanks you for your continued support!
Mike Sturm
Executive Director
National Guard Association of Indiana

NGAI Alert #2; 25 January 2016

Dear NGAI Member,
2016 NGAI Public Policy Objectives
HB1313 Hoosier Veteran Talking Points
1. Federal Law does not include Members of the National Guard or Reserve in the definition of “veteran”
2. Indiana Law refers to the Federal definition when addressing veteran issues
3. The National Guard Association of Indiana is seeking a change in the State definition to recognize our Hoosier Veterans.
4. HB 1313, authored by Rep. Peggy Mayfield, includes our Hoosier Veterans wherever the term “Veteran” is used, but specifies that Hoosier Veterans are not included where it does not fit into that particular part of the code or benefits that are not intended to impact Hoosier Veterans:
• Hoosier Veterans still will not qualify for any federal benefit managed by the State
• Hoosier Veterans are already included in such benefits as the Military Family Relief Fund, but still will be limited to only if they served during a conflict and were injured in combat.
• Several Legislators have raised concerns that the definition of “Hoosier Veteran” may still be too broad, so NGAI is working on narrowing the definition and specifying that the bill will not create any new fiduciary duty of currently existing benefits.

WE NEED THE SUPPORT AND HELP OF OUR VETERAN LEGISLATORS TO GET THIS BILL MOVING
Our big push for next week will be to get a hearing for the NGAI Hoosier Veteran Bill. Tuesday will be the last hearing for the House Veteran Affairs and Public Safety Committee for the first half of session, so if we can’t move HB 1313 out of committee, the bill is dead.
Chairman Randy Frye plans on putting it on the schedule, but he will remove it Monday if we don’t have the support of the veteran members of the committee. One major concern of the veteran members is that they believe that we should narrow the bill down and that we don’t create bigger liabilities for current programs.

We are working on fine-tuning the language now, and will get it to the committee members Saturday (1/23/16).
We will need our Guardsmen and leadership that live in, or have connections in, the districts of the members of the committee to make their voices heard.

Committee members are:
Rep Randy Frye, Greensburg (Ready to hear the Bill, but wants to see a consensus of the veteran House members on his committee)
Rep Bruce Borders, Jasonville
Rep Lloyd Arnold, Huntingburg … KEY VOTE!
Rep Martin Carbaugh, Fort Wayne
Rep Doug Gutwein, Franceville
Rep Chris Judy, Columbia City (Guardsman)
Rep John Price, Greenwood
Rep Ed Soliday, Valporaiso … KEY VOTE!
Rep Denny Zent, Angola
Rep Karlee Macer, Indianapolis
Rep Shiela Klinker, Lafayette
Rep Linda Lawson, Hammond
Rep Charles Moseley, Portage
Call or e-mail these committee members and encourage them to make sure National Guard and Reserve members are included as veterans.

Thanks to all for your support.
Mike Sturm
Executive Director
National Guard Association of Indiana

NGAI Alert #1; 21 January 2016

Dear NGAI Members and Friends,
Call for Nominations
We are currently seeking individuals who wish to serve on the NGAI Board of Directors. If you or someone you know wishes to serve please have them fill out the attached Nomination Form, attach a current photo and send to linda@ngai.net NLT 6 February 2016. Board members serve for 3 years and one third of the board is up for reelection each year. The attached document includes a list of expectations for those who serve. Click here for BOD Call for Nomination info and form and BOD Call for Nomination fillible form.

NGAI 2016 Annual Conference, French Lick, IN
21-24 April 2016
Our annual conference registration is now online at www.ngai.net. Click 2016 conf Individual Registration fillable to download the registration form for the conference. Also available is a form to assist in making hotel reservations. Use code 0416NGA to get the conference rates of $109 plus tax per night at French Lick; $189 plus tax per night at West Baden. All reservations should be made directly with the hotel. Rates and room availability through March 31, 2016, so please don’t delay in making reservations. Click to download 2016 conf Hotel Reg.

Lt Gen Lengyel has been invited as our keynote speaker. We will know closer to conference if he can attend but he is making every effort to do so.

Sign up for the Saturday night States Dinner, Friday Golf Outing (2016 conf Friday Golf Reg fillable), 5K Run, Business Meeting, Retiree Breakfast with MG Carr (CGOs and E5 & below invited at no cost), Guest Brunch, Small Arms Defensive Course/Live Firing and a second guest event still to be scheduled. Questions should be directed to Linda at 317-247-3196 or via email at Linda@ngai.net.

2016 NGAI Calendar Sale
There is one week remaining on our 2016 NGAI Calendar sale. Final sale of calendars will be 1600, 27 January, in the NGAI office. Chances are very good to win one or more weapons for as little as $1.50 per chance. Your calendar is your raffle ticket for $50. We will draw for 36 weapons and if you win the first weapon, you still have equal opportunity on the next 35. So for as little as $1.50 per weapon chance, you will have an opportunity to win multiple weapons plus receive a cool calendar. You must purchase direct from the NGAI office or you can order on line at www.ngai.net/2016-calendar.

2016 NGAI Public Policy Objectives
Attached is a document updating you on the status and links to the bills we are following with the Indiana General Assembly. Please take time to run through the list and contact your local representative(s) to let them know your concerns and to urge action on their part. Download ActionTRACK report-195.pdf.

Also linked here is a schedule of hearings that occurred this week at the State House. Download Hearings.

General Grass Survey
A link is provided here for a survey that we would like everyone (Officers, Enlisted, Retirees) to take time to complete. Responses will be sent directly to Gen Grass and provides him with information to take to Congress. The survey closes 4 March, so please complete as soon as possible. Again, the big point with this survey is that it made a big impact on decision makers in the Joint Chiefs and Congress last year. This is a survey that actually has an impact on our nation’s laws!
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NationalGuardSurvey_2016

Stay tuned to www.NGAI.net or www.facebook.com/NGAIndiana. Thank you for your continued support.
Mike Sturm
Executive Director
National Guard Association of Indiana

NGAUS Legislative Alert #16-1; 8 January 2016

The Issue: Establishing a continuing medical education program at the Department of Veterans Affairs for non-Department medical professionals who treat veterans and their family members.

Immediate Action Required: Contact your senators and representative immediately and ask them to support S. 2049 and H.R. 3580, bills to create a continuing medical education program at the Department of Veterans Affairs for non-Department medical professionals who treat veterans and their family members

More Information: NGAUS strongly supports S. 2049, sponsored by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and H.R. 3580, sponsored by Representative Pat Tiberi (R-OH), bills that would establish in the Department of Veterans Affairs a continuing medical education program for non-Department medical professionals who treat veterans and family members of veterans to increase knowledge and recognition of medical conditions common to veterans and their families.

Members of the National Guard and their families are seen by medical professionals that don’t always have the experience or understanding of the common medical challenges faced by our veteran community. Setting up an educational pilot program where doctors, nurses and other medical professionals could learn more about this community can improve the care our veterans receive.

Please contact your senators and representatives and urge them to support these bills.

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

Take Action: Click here

NGAI Alert #16-1; 4 January 2016

Dear NGAI Members,
Just a reminder, you’re invited to Military and Veterans Day Indiana State House 2016!
Monday 11 January is your day at the Statehouse. We had over 250 attendees last year with NGAI members leading the way. Come meet you state legislators and educate them on why they should be investing in our military and veteran citizens and how supporting our NGAI 2016 Policy Objectives will improve Indiana’s standing as a military and veteran friendly place to live. Coffee and donuts will be served in the morning and a light lunch at noon. Please RSVP for the event click on this link. http://www.punchbowl.com/parties/44baf09e9ae545348cdd

Calendar Gun Raffle drawing is Thursday 28 January
Just a little over 3 weeks remain. Final sale of calendars will be 1600, 27 January, in the NGAI office. Chances are very good to win one or more weapons for as little as $1.50 per chance? Your calendar is your raffle ticket for $50. We will draw for 36 weapons and if you win the first weapon, you still have equal opportunity on the next 35. So for as little as $1.50 per weapon chance, you will have an opportunity to win multiple weapons plus receive a cool calendar. Calendars are available from any NGAI Board member until Thursday, 14 January. After that, you must purchase direct from the NGAI office or you can order on line at https://www.ngai.net/2016-calendar/.

New Membership System
We’ve made membership in both your state and national associations easier than ever. Simply use your smart phone and go to the www.NGAI.net homepage and click on Join Now to enter our secure membership system. Read the instructions closely then follow the directions. It just takes two minutes! Please enter a personal email address as the military system filters your emails.
We appreciate your patience as 2015 was our first year with a new online membership system and there have been a few renewal issues.
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2016 Renewal Membership for NGAI, EANGUS & NGAUS
It’s time to renew your membership! Last year we started a new on-line membership system, and now we are working out the renewal bugs. Please look through the following information as you renew your membership for 2016.

If you are an NGAI LIFE member and ALSO an EANGUS or NGAUS ANNUAL member
If you receive / have received a membership expiration notice and you are an NGAI life member, it may be because your EANGUS or NGAUS annual membership is expiring. Log into your membership account (read how below) and renew your ANNUAL MEMBERSHIPS ONLY.

If you are an NGAI life member AND an EANGUS or NGAUS life member
If you receive / have received a membership expiration notice and you are an NGAI life member and also an EANGUS or NGAUS life member, please contact Linda (see contact info below). This notice is in error and Linda will be able to make the correction.

If you are an annual NGAI member with “Auto Renewal”
If you paid for an annual NGAI, EANGUS or NGAUS membership in the past year and selected “Auto-renewal” and you have made a change to your credit card account, your membership auto renewal may not have processed. Please contact Linda (see contact info below).

Forgotten Password
If you have forgotten your password and request a new password and have only a military email on file with us, your new temporary password may be blocked from going to your military email address. If so, please contact Linda (see contact info below) and give her your PERSONAL email address. She will update your membership file and let you know when you may request a new temporary password.

Forgotten Member ID/Paper or Unit memberships
If you have forgotten your membership ID, please contact Linda (see contact info below) and she will email you back with your membership ID.

For those who submitted paper applications or membership via your unit, your membership ID is the first 3 letters of your last name and the last 4 digits of your social security number. Example: ABC1234. See above note concerning your military email address. If you supplied your personal email address, see the info below about recovering your password.

NGAI Life Members
If you haven’t gone online to create your life membership account, you may still do so by contacting Linda and she will send you instructions.
________________________________________
HOW TO CONTACT LINDA
Contact Linda at 317-247-3196 or via email at linda@ngai.net.

HOW TO UPDATE YOUR ACCOUNT
Go to www.ngai.net and click on “Log In” (upper right corner). Enter your username and password. Once logged in, update your user information. IF YOU HAVE USED A MILITARY EMAIL ADDRESS AS YOUR PRIMARY ADDRESS, YOU MUST CHANGE TO A PERSONAL EMAIL ADDRESS. Military email addresses often block our communications. We may not be able to reach you about your account or with important information if you do not supply a personal email account.

HOW TO RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP
Go to www.ngai.net and click on “Log In” (upper right corner). Enter your username and password. Once logged in, hover your cursor over “Membership” in the main menu, then select “Join or Renew”. The membership you are renewing will be highlighted and read “RENEW”. Click and follow the prompts to renew.

If your rank or status has changed, please renew using the membership level that is appropriate to your new status.
Be sure to update your personal information as you renew! IF YOU HAVE USED A MILITARY EMAIL ADDRESS AS YOUR PRIMARY ADDRESS, YOU MUST CHANGE TO A PERSONAL EMAIL ADDRESS. Military email addresses often block our communications. We may not be able to reach you about your account or with important information if you do not supply a personal email account.

HOW TO RECOVER YOUR PASSWORD
Go to www.ngai.net and click on “Log In” (upper right corner). Click on “Lost Password” and follow the prompts. You will get an email that will allow you to reset your password. WRITE IT DOWN! IF YOU HAVE USED A MILITARY EMAIL ADDRESS AS YOUR PRIMARY ADDRESS, CONTACT LINDA (contact info above).

Thanks for taking the time to update your account and for helping us work through this part of our new membership system.
________________________________________
Our membership is key to our legislative success. Be informed and get involved.

Stay tuned to www.NGAI.net, www.facebook.com/NGAIndiana or https://twitter.com/@NGAIndiana. Thank you for your continued support.

Mike Sturm
Executive Director
National Guard Association of Indiana