2016-06-15 / Op-Ed

Veterans’ Affairs & Benefits

By David Miller

New MCPON announced

The Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson has selected FLTCM Steven S. Giordana, to be the 14th Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy. Master Chief Giordano, a native of Baltimore, Md. enlisted in the Navy in June 1989. He is currently serving as U.S. Naval Forces Europe/U.S. Naval Forces Africa Fleet Master Chief. He replaces Mike Stevens, who was appointed in June 2012. The position of MCPON was created by legislation in 1966. The holder of this rank and post is the senior enlisted member of the Navy. MCPON is appointed by the CNO to serve as a spokesperson to the highest positions in the Navy on issues affecting enlisted personnel.

Bill proposes new management of VA hospitals

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris-Rogers (Wash.) has released (not introduced) draft legislation that eliminates the Veterans Health Administration’s role in hospital care, medical services and other health care and creates a Washington, D.C.-based corporation and board of directors to take its place. The draft legislation comes as Congress continues to grapple with delays and dysfunction in the Department of Veterans Affairs nationwide network of hospitals and clinics more than two years after a scandal over long wait times for care. The sponsor stated that “With this draft legislation, my goal is for veterans to have the ability to choose what health care plan best fits their individual needs. This proposal should serve as the starting point for putting veterans in charge of their health care. I look forward to receiving feedback from veterans and the organizations that represent them, so we can ensure veterans receive the health care they deserve and have earned in a timely manner.”

My Note: She says, “Choose what health care plan best fits your individual needs.” The only problem is there are no plans. Moreover, if they create plans it will cost us. This appears to me to be another step to privatize military benefits. Yes, the VA has big problems in some places. We can be thankful we have TOGUS and those there that serve us.

D-Day Remembered

The week of June 6 marked the 72nd anniversary of the World War II invasion of Normandy, France by Allied troops commonly referred to as “D-Day.” It was the largest naval invasion in history and eventually led to the end of the war in Europe.

David Miller is a resident of Lexington Township. He is retired Navy and a member of the Fleet Reserve Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. He provides an occasional column here in the Irregular on veterans’ benefits and concerns. (#135)

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