Colorado West Branch 244
Grand Junction, CO  81504


          President: Rich Reno 970-241-5000
1st VP: Jim Stafford  970-243-3303
     2nd VP: Bud Johnson 970-249-0891
Sec/Trea: Chuck Watkins   970-434-0868

Jr. PP:  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: Heinz Park (970) 930-2188

President’s Message:
Hello fellow shipmates, October is here and for myself a momentous memory, for on October 12, 1969 I reported on board my first ship, USS Hugh Purvis DD709. I was just out of boot camp and was below decks with a 3rd class in berthing. I heard a clang, clang, clang, clang, “Hugh Purvis departing”. With an air of excitement I asked the 3rd class, “ where are we going”? ( thinking the ship was getting under way).  He laughingly stated, that it was only the Captain leaving the ship. The rest is history!
  On a more up to date note, October brings Fall Colors, Hunting season, Halloween and the Air Show. I want to thank those shipmates that helped out at this years booth. We had a great spot and n spite of being rained out on Saturday we had a great time Sunday. We were able to gather 19 contacts for possible membership. The Thunderbirds were the main attraction along with many other exciting performers. 
  At our October meeting it was decided that the Branch would host our annual Christmas/Thanksgiving dinner at Mi Mexico. We ate here last year and were very pleased with the service and food. Hope to see you all there.
  Also with the fall months comes the Flu season. I understand the VA is giving flu shots, and will soon have a drive thru clinic.
  I hope your month goes well, see you at the November meeting.
Yours In
Loyalty, Protection and Service
Richard Reno

Secretary Notes:
Three of Branch 244 Chiefs attended the initiation dinner for the Salt Lake City Reserve Unit’s Chief Selectees for 2017.  We were greeted with open arms by the “Boots” and enjoyed their stories and especially the spaghetti dinner.  There were also three Grand Valley Area retired chiefs also attending.  Shipmate Stafford brought a cake with the FRA logo on it congratulating the “Boots”.  Yes, we did spend some time distributing FRA membership applications, business cards and telling about the FRA.  We received a nice Thank You from Chief Sigler who was the organizer for the event.
A little more information concerning our combined Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner.  The dinner for shipmates and spouses/significant others will be at Mi Mexico restaurant 2480 U.S. Hwy 6&50 in the Mesa Mall area.  We will gather there at 1:00 PM (1300) on Wednesday, 13 December instead of our December meeting.  We had a very good time there last year so hopefully all of our shipmates in the area will be able to join us again.  If you do not care for Mexican food there are other items on the menu.

Air Show:
Despite the rainy weather on Saturday the air show was a pretty good success.  We acquired several possibilities for new membership in addition of making contact with school age kids and presented them with the information for the Americanism/Patriotism Essay Contest.  Hopefully we will have many entries to judge this year.

Branch 244 By-Laws:
The presented By-Law changes were voted on and approved at the 11 October 2017 meeting.  S/M Secretary Watkins updated same and will distribute the updated copies soon.

West Coast Region Officers:
During the Annual West Coast Region Convention the following Officers were voted in.  President, Maria Behm Branch 113, Vice President Rick Athenour Branch 137, Treasurer Robert Smith Branch 08, Secretary Jeff Hatcliff Branch 049, PRPWC Nathan “Joe” Nash, Jr. Branch 192, Chaplain Jim Laird Branch 137, Jr. Past President Roland Shorter, Jr., Service Officer Roland Shorter, Jr., Master At Arms Richard Ruiz Branch 101, Boatswain of the Watch W.S (Steve) Matthews Branch 197.

Important Dates to Remember:
5 Nov Daylight Savings Time Ends
7 Nov Election Day – Get out and VOTE
8 Nov FRA Branch 244 Monthly Meeting
23 Nov Thanksgiving Day

Important Events:
10 Nov U.S. Marine Corps 242 Birthday
11 Nov FRA 93rd Birthday
11 Nov Armistice Day (Veteran’s Day) Parade
11 Nov Naval Battle of Guadalcanal
23 Nov Thanksgiving Day
28 Nov Chaplain Corps Birthday

Branch 244 Shipmate Birthdays: A Happy Birthday to members who have a birthday in October and November.  David Krough, Richard Hiatt, Marvin Hoover and Claire Veech .   Happy Birthday Shipmates.

Branch 244 Shipmate/s due to renew: Shipmates Doug and Ron Butler, Mark Mattivi and Heinz Park.

Branch 244 Shipmate/s Membership Renewals: Shipmate William Ohler. Thank You Shipmate.

October 13, 2017 -
NDAA Update
        Recently the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees- known as the Big Four-recently met to discuss moving forward on the FY2018 Defense Authorization bill (H.R. 2810). The Senate passed its bill in September and the House approved its bill in July. As Newsbytes goes to press, only the House has appointed members to the conference committee to resolve differences between the two bills. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) announced that both chambers should try to complete work on the bill by the end of October.
FRA has dispatched a letter to the “Big Four,” as well as the Chairmen and Ranking Members of each committees Personnel Subcommittees, expressing opposition and support for numerous provisions in the House and Senate bills. A copy of the letter is available on the FRA website. A major priority for FRA is our opposition to Senate provisions that mandate substantial TRICARE fee increases by repealing the so-called grandfather clause that excludes retirees who retired before January 1, 2018 from scheduled TRICARE fee increases. FRA also opposes provisions in the Senate bill that increases pharmacy co-pays, provides for a smaller active duty pay increase (2.1% vice 2.4%) and makes further cuts to Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH).
In addition, FRA is urging Congress to exclude Defense from sequestration.  Budget cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 pose a threat to national security and will substantially impact member’s pay and benefits. These automatic cuts, known as sequestration, require that 50 percent come from Defense even though Defense spending makes up only 16 percent of the total federal budget. Members are strongly urged to use the FRA Action Center to urge their legislators to exclude Defense from sequestration and oppose onerous Senate provisions before it’s too late!

Modest COLA Increase
        The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently announced a two percent increase in the 2018 Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for military and federal civilian retirees, survivor benefit annuitants, disabled veterans and Social Security recipients. The new COLA rate is effective December 1, 2017 and the adjustment will appear in the December 30, 2017 payment.  By law, COLA is based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). It is a broad measure of consumer prices generated by the BLS from the third quarter of the previous year to the third quarter of the current year. The CPI-W measures price changes for food, housing, clothing, transportation, energy, medical care, recreation and education. Since 2008, the annual COLA has been above two percent only once and has been zero three times

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

This page was last updated: October 16, 2017
This page was last updated: October 16, 2017