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This page was last updated: August 10, 2018
This page was last updated: August 10, 2018
NEWSLETTER

August - September 2018

  BRANCH OFFICERS:

President: Jim Stafford 970-243-3303
  1st VP: Bud Johnson 970-249-0891
2nd VP: Heinz Park (970) 930 2188 
Sec/Trea: Chuck Watkins 970-434-0868

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jr. PP: Rich Reno 970-241-5000
 Heinz Park (970) 930 2188 
Bill Buvinger (970) 263-9183
Chuck Watkins (970) 434-0868
Jim Stafford (970) 243-3303
Naaman Moorehouse (970) 433-7854
Joe Bertram (970) 434-5358
Master-At-Arms: Naaman Moorehouse (970) 433-7854
Chaplain: Rich Reno (970) 241-5000
Website: http://www.frabr244.homestead.com

President’s Message:

​Greetings Shipmates;

        Welcome to THE 2018-2019 New and hopefully more promising Year for our country, its citizens and the active duty military and veterans and the FRA as well. There is still need to be aware of the actions of President Trump and the congress in DC as they look for ways to make America Great again or in some cases hinder these efforts. It does look more promising as they are rebuilding our military and hopefully improving the Veterans Administration and its capabilities to help all veterans.
        We need to continue to visit the FRA website at www.fra.org and the Action Center and review all of the actions and concerns before Congress. Then take the time to send messages to your elected officials with your opinions and concerns. It is time to remind them of and support them in their duty to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. 
        Elections: National, State and local, will be held on 6 November 2018: I hope you all exercise your right to vote and will now continue to make sure those elected will keep their promises made and do what is right for our country, it’s military, veterans and citizens. Also become educated about those who would run in the future especially for president in 2020. . Pray we have better leadership in our government after the past elections.
The FRA currently has information on the importance of military and veteran’s benefits for all members at www.fra.org. I encourage all to visit it. Let congress know how important these issues are to you.
Please visit the Branch’s website frabr244@homestead.com, thanks to Shipmate Watkins for his efforts there. I am sure he would welcome any ideas you may have for the site.  
        Let’s all get out there and recruit more members for the Branch. This is most important for the survival of the Branch and FRA. Our voices need to be heard loud and clear in Washington DC. The more members the louder our voice!
        I would also like to thank my fellow shipmates who have accepted positions of responsibility in the branch again for another year and to Past President Rich Reno who performed greatly as President during the 2017-2018 year.
        Our prayers go out to shipmates and their families who are having medical issues and other health problems as well. And remember those shipmates who have passed during the last year. Let us all pray and give thanks for all veterans and our troops & their families. Let us hope that they and their families are reunited soon.  
Jim Stafford President

Secretary Notes:
The summer has been a hot one as most of you already know. Here is hoping that the fall temperatures will be more normal and cooler.
For those that are wondering, I am recovering pretty well from my heart attack in April. My rehab is going well and I look forward to finishing it up in Mid-August. My thanks go out to all of the shipmates that sent me well wishes and prayers during this set-back. If I learned one thing, that is take care of your body because sometimes the consequences are not real good. Fortunately, help was in the right place at the right time and I had awesome medical care after the attack.
       The following members have stepped up to assume the respective offices. Thank you Shipmates.
            President – Jim Stafford
            1st Vice President – Bud Johnson
            2nd Vice President – Heinz Park
            Secretary/Treasurer – Chuck Watkins
            Chaplain – Rich Reno
            Master-At-Arms – Naaman Moorehouse
        Like Shipmate President Stafford said our primary effort should be in the recruitment of new members. Since our branch was instituted 21 years ago we have lost 20 members to either deaths or lack of payment of dues. Please make it a commitment on your part to first, make sure you membership does not lapse and second, make every effort to recruit more members. If you need membership applications let me know and I will get some to you. Your membership expiration date is printed on your membership card. If you do not have a card let me know and I will get one sent to you. If you are not sure when you are due to renew please let me know and I will tell you.  
        One other important issue is that if you have a change of address, telephone number or email address please let me know so I can keep my records current.
        A huge thank you to the members that continue to come and support our Branch. If you would like to attend our meetings but need a ride, please let me know and I will have someone pick you up and take you home.
        At our August meeting it was voted to hold our Annual Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner at Mi Mexico restaurant on Tuesday, 11 December 2018 at 1:00 PM (1300) and not have our regular meeting on 12 December. The vote was also to have each member to pay for his and his spouse’s meal instead of the Branch picking up the tab.

Yours in
Loyalty, Protection and Service
Chuck Watkins

Important Dates to Remember:
4 Aug 1790 U.S. Coast Guard established
4 Aug 1947 Medical Service Corps established
4 Aug 1964 Vietnam Conflict began
5 Aug 1864 Battle of Mobile Bay – RADM Farragut – “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.”
14 Aug 1945 VJ Day – Japan Surrenders
14 Aug National Navajo Code Talkers Day
29 Aug 1916 USMC Reserves Founded
2 Sep 1945 V-J Day Pres. Truman declares victory in Japan
11 Sep 2001 Pentagon and World Trade Center attacked
14 Sep 1814 Sailor & Marines join in defense of “The Stars-Spangled Banner” against British attack on 
                        Fort Mc Heny, MD.
15 Sep 1950 Landing at Inchon

Important Events:
8 Aug Branch 244 Regular Meeting
13 Sep Branch 244 Regular Meeting

Branch 244 Shipmate Birthdays: A Happy Birthday to members who have a birthday in August or September – Shipmates Ryan Redifer, Heinz Park and Dielon Harwood. Happy Birthday Shipmates.

Branch 244 Shipmate/s due to renew: John Nelson.

Branch 244 Shipmate/s Membership Renewals: Gene Deininger, Ryan Redifer, Gerald Rose, Chuck Watkins

LEGISLATIVE VICTORIES
FRA maintains a strong and creditable presence on Capitol Hill and legislative successes during the year include: 
    •Blocking a huge TRICARE fee increase that would have doubled annual fees for TRICARE beneficiaries         under age 65;
    •Passing the Agent Orang Blue Water Navy bill (H.R. 299) out of the House (pending in Senate);
    •Expanding VA caregiver program to include all severely disabled veterans. Original program applied to badly         disabled veterans that were injured after September 11, 2001;
    •Limiting rent increases for residents at Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) for next year and phasing in         next year’s scheduled huge fee increase over three years; 
    •Prohibiting AFRH from removing residents only because they are unable to pay rent;
    •Increasing Navy and Marine Corps reserve and active duty end strength for FY 2019;  
    •Consolidating seven VA community care programs into one to improve efficiency access to care;
    •Increasing annual active duty pay (2.6%) that keeps pace with civilian pay increases;
    •Repealing a scheduled one percent cut in Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for active duty; 
    •Expanding availability of Military One Source for retired and discharged members of the Armed Forces;
    •Allowing Purple Heart, Medal of Honor, former POW, and service-connected disability veterans, and         caregiver for disabled veterans to use commissaries and MWR facilities; 
    •Filing a Senate floor amendment, at FRA’s request, to expand concurrent receipt. Amendment was not called         for a vote; 
    •Permitting veterans, who have a 100 percent service connected disability, to utilize a travel benefit currently         extended to active duty and retired military members and their families to travel on military aircraft when         there is extra space onboard.
    •Mandating maximum life insurance coverage for service members deployed in a combat zone; and
    •Increasing VA funding (6.1%) for FY 2019.  

In Loyalty, Protection and Service
Chuck Watkins
BR 244 Secretary/Treasurer