VFW Action Corps Weekly – August 14, 2015
In This Issue:
1. DOD Announces New Prescription Drug Policy
2. The VFW Remains Active during the Congressional Recess
3. Spirit of ’45 Wreath Laying
4. Commemorate V-J Day in Washington
5. Korean/Cold War POW/MIA Families Meet
6. Three Korean War MIAs Identified
1. DOD Announces New Prescription Drug Policy: This week, the VFW was briefed on the new TRICARE policy that will require military retirees and family members to obtain certain prescription drugs through the mail or at a military treatment facility (MTF). The change affects only maintenance medications. Acute medications such as antibiotics may still be obtained through retail pharmacies. Active duty military are exempt. Similar to the TRICARE for Life pharmacy mail order pilot program, generic formulary drugs will be free with home delivery and name brand formulary drugs will cost $16 for a 90 day supply. This is compared to $8 for generics and $20 for name brands currently charged at network pharmacies for a 30 day supply. There is no charge for drugs obtained at MTFs. DOD estimates this new policy will save $88 million a year for them, and $16.5 million a year for beneficiaries. Receiving a single name brand drug through home delivery rather than a retail pharmacy will save beneficiaries up to $176 per year. Affected beneficiaries will begin receiving letters on September 1 with additional information on the new policy and how to obtain waivers if necessary. For more information on TRICARE pharmacy copays, visit: http://www.tricare.mil/pharmacycosts.
2. The VFW Remains Active during the Congressional Recess: With Congress in recess, VFW members and our supporters are keeping up the pressure on their members of Congress. The VFW “Meet them in the District” campaign is using a combination of town hall meetings and one-on-one meetings with elected officials to show the local impact of decisions made in Washington, DC. Nearly three dozen meetings in just two weeks reminds Congress that veterans and their families vote and that the VFW does not take a recess. For more information on this event, contact your department’s National Legislative Committee member.
3. Spirit of ’45 Wreath Laying: In support of the 70th Anniversary Commemoration of the end of World War II, the Spirit of ’45 organization is asking if all veterans/military service organizations could sponsor wreath-laying ceremonies on Aug. 16 at every American veterans’ cemetery across the country and overseas. Aug. 16 is a historically significant date because it is when the Emperor of Japan ordered his forces to immediately cease hostilities. A simple ceremony is all that is requested to salute those who served and fell, and Bugles Across America (www.BuglesAcrossAmerica.org) can also be contacted to play Taps. To register your event or to learn more about the Spirit of ’45, go to: www.Spiritof45.org. For a list of U.S. national, state, tribal and territory cemeteries, go to: http://www.vfw.org/uploadedFiles/VAcemeteriescontactlist.pdf. For a list of overseas American cemeteries, go to:https://www.abmc.gov/.
4. Commemorate V-J Day in Washington: To commemorate the Allied Forces Victory in the Pacific and the end of World War II, the Friends of the National World War II Memorial and the National Park Service will co-host a special V-J Day 70th Anniversary Commemoration on Sept. 2 at 10:30 a.m. at the National World War II Memorial in Washington. WWII veteran and VFW life member Sen. Bob Dole will provide remarks, as well as other veterans and dignitaries from our allied nations. More than 400,000 Americans and 60 million worldwide lost their lives in the deadliest military conflict in human history. The WWII Memorial has very few disability parking spaces, and street parking will be extremely limited since it’s still the tourist season in Washington and Sept. 2 is a workday. Taxis to the memorial are plentiful and recommended, and the two closest Metro stations, Federal Triangle and Smithsonian, are both about a half-mile away. To learn more, or to RSVP your attendance, go to: http://www.wwiimemorialfriends.org/.
5. Korean/Cold War POW/MIA Families Meet: The 21st annual meeting of Korean War and Cold War POW/MIA Families was held over the past two days in nearby Arlington, Va. More than 300 family members were in attendance to hear Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency and other government briefers update them on individual loss cases, and to explain ongoing initiatives and continued challenges to achieving the fullest possible accounting of more than 7,800 Korean War MIAs—the majority of whom are in North Korea, where no missions have taken place since 2005—and the search for 126 servicemen lost during the Cold War, in regions and countries ranging from former Soviet bloc Eastern Europe to the People’s Republic of China. Learn more about all losses on the DPAA website at: http://www.dpaa.mil/Home.aspx.
6. Three Korean War MIAs Identified: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has identified the remains of three soldiers who had been missing in action since the Korean War. All will be buried with full military honors on a date and at a location yet to be announced. Returned home are:
– Army Sgt. Wilson Meckley Jr., 22, of Lancaster, Pa., was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, when he was declared missing on Dec. 2, 1950, in North Korea.
– Army Sgt. 1st Class Robert Reager, 20, of Alleghany, Pa., was assigned to Company C, 32nd Regimental Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division, when he was declared missing on Dec. 2, 1950, in North Korea.
– Army Cpl. Grant H. Ewing, of Weld County, Colo., was assigned to Battery C, 38th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division. He reportedly died in captivity on Feb. 28, 1951, in North Korea.