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President’s Column: October 2017

Feeling refreshed and energized by attending the Ohio Council of Chapters Biennial Convention this past weekend at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station(YARS), it is fitting to initiate the October Newsletter. Plus is too darn hot to do much outside!  ‘ Whodda Thunk it’ !   90F on September 25th in NEO!!!!  Looking forward to more ‘seasonal’ weather starting Thursday.

OCC-MOAA was extremely well planned by the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys Chapter. Kudos to their chapter and team.  YARS was a great location! A military convention on a military reservation.  The speakers were most engaging and enthusiastic to present their topics. From Saturday morning through the evening keynote by LtGen Dana Atkins, USAF(ret) CEO and President of MOAA. This was a veteran enjoying a professionally lucrative post-retirement position in a public relations/media company in Augusta, GA and when he heard of the pending retirement in 2016 of ADM Ryan, he departed Augusta for Alexandria to live the MOAA motto- “Never Stop Serving”.  His story of what led him back was truly in that spirit.

OWRC needs to continue that story also by using the video file available to ensure other military we encounter in our lives know of MOAA and especially OWRC.  A small amount of dues to both National ($43/yr) and locally ($20/yr) has already given us an approximate $120,000 in retirement compensation! How? MOAA fought for the use of COLA for retirement pay calculation versus the “ COLA minus 1%”  which Congress wanted.  Yes, that “1%” can equate to $120,000 in retirement income for an O-5!  That is a ROI !!! And then there is the rescission of the state income tax on military pay (Active or Retired) in Ohio.  That was pushed by Col John McCoy of the Central Ohio Chapter several years ago. (John is retiring from the Ohio Council positions at the end of the year but what a legacy he has left.)

General Atkins related that the two biggest issues for FY18 for MOAA now are the SBP-DIC offset (aka, the ‘widows tax’) and TRICARE.  The SBP-DIC offset is a dollar-for-dollar offset from any retirement annuity(SBP) for widows/widowers from the dependency indemnification compensation (DIC) when a service member dies of a service connected action. No other federal employee has their retirement benefit reduced by a death compensation of the wage earner during their course of employment, except the Armed Forces!  Why?? This must be repealed!

MOAA is also fighting for maintenance of TRICARE For Life as we know and have earned it. Any attempts to change it to a Medicare Advantage plan would be disastrous for us, financially. For a majority of  us, TFL is our Medicare Supplement.  If we would go to a Medicare Advantage plan, we would be prohibited by Federal Law, from having a Medicare Supplement and be responsible for those 20% copays for outpatient services.  Those can amount to thousands over the course of a year, dependent on therapies or ailments.

Let us mobilize and address these concerns with our Senators (Brown and Portman) and our House of Representatives for your district.

#MOAA #NeverStopServing                         www.moaa.org/whymoaa

November 2017 Meeting

 


Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Annual Veteran Networking Banquet
Co-Sponsored by Fairlawn VFW 349 and OWRC-MOAA
Where: Tangier’s Restaurant  532 W Market Street, Akron OH 44303

When: 6PM

$25 per person

Attire: Business
Keynote Speaker: Larry Moore, Director Summit County VSC
RSVP BY OCTOBER 31, 2017
RSVP via Website or Call Ron Smetana(330.524.1134) or Dave Riegler(330.592.2816)

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