For Army combat engineer Sgt. Mike Geib, the symptoms of Gulf War illness were immediate.
Before he deployed, he was healthy and excelling on his physical fitness tests. But just 10 years later, he was medically discharged at 28 years old with a 10% disability rating for asthma.
“I couldn’t run. I was turning blue,” Geib said, describing how serious his respiratory issues had become. “I knew in my heart — I knew it was from exposure.”
Although veterans have been exposed to burn pits and environmental hazards distinct from their generational wars, they are united in their fight to receive care and benefits from the VA.
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2021-news-articles/advocacy/servicemembers-exposed-to-toxins-fight-decades-long-battle-for-benefits/
TRICARE coverage for their young adult daughters cost the Brock family more than $13,000 over five years.
The steep costs meant carefully monitoring their budget and making sacrifices, but cutting off access to health care for their daughters by pulling them out of the TRICARE Young Adult (TYA) program was not a risk they were willing to take, said matriarch Annie Brock, who served in the Army for almost 10 years.
“Why wouldn’t we want to make sure they had good health insurance?” Brock said. “I think every parent wants to make sure their child is taken care of when they need health care, but not every parent is able to make it happen.”
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2021-news-articles/advocacy/moaa-member-fights-to-shield-other-military-families-from-health-care-hardship/
MOAA members in North Carolina are strategically maneuvering to advance legislation that would exempt military pension from state income tax.
Col. Ihor “Iggi” Husar, USAR (Ret), first vice president of MOAA’s North Carolina Council of Chapters, said all 15 state chapters are tracking two bills that would eliminate military pension from state income tax. He has led efforts to connect chapter members to the lawmakers in their districts to build more meaningful connections in hopes of passing the legislation.
“It’s much better to have a constituent calling to make an appointment to do advocacy,” Husar said. “It’s more effective this way.”
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2021-news-articles/state-tax-update-the-latest-from-4-states-on-exempting-military-pensions/
NASA astronaut and MOAA member Col. Shane Kimbrough, USA (Ret), is set to head back to space.
Kimbrough is one of four astronauts on the second operational Crew Dragon mission (Crew-2), SpaceX’s second long-duration mission with NASA as part of the Commercial Crew program. The Crew Dragon is expected to launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida the morning of April 22; Kimbrough and crew will dock at the International Space Station (ISS) for a six-month stay.
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2021-news-articles/moaa-member-prepares-for-return-to-space/
Military kids can take a stroll through Sesame Street’s virtual world on a special website dedicated to their unique life experiences.
In a new series of games and videos, the Sesame Street gang takes military kids on a virtual visit to a medical checkup with a doctor and to a pharmacy. It’s the latest part of the Sesame Street for Military Families website, which offers resources for families to discuss experiences unique to military life, such as frequently meeting new doctors, moving, and deployments.
“It’s not as stressful if children know what to expect,” Maria Galarza, assistant vice president of U.S. Social Impact for Sesame Street, told Military Officer.
Read the full story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2021-news-articles/sesame-street-offers-new-resources-for-military-kids/
Maj. Gen. William Walker, a Life Member of MOAA who has served 36 years in an Army uniform – including his current post as the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard – has been tapped as the next House sergeant-at-arms.
I spoke with him the day before his nomination to talk about troop retention, security in D.C. and the Guard's response on Jan. 6. I wrote a short story for the web to announce Maj. Gen. Walker's appointment ahead of a larger story planned for an upcoming issue of Military Officer magazine.
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2021-news-articles/moaa-life-member-tapped-to-serve-as-next-house-sergeant-at-arms/