A vet asks about TRICARE benefits for his daughter

Dear Sgt. Shaft,

I am a retired Warrant Officer. I currently use TRICARE Prime for myself and family and our PCM is Fox Army Medical Clinic on Redstone Arsenal. My wife will turn 64 in Jan 14 so she will have to go to TRICARE for Life 2 years prior to me. When I turn 65 and have to go to TRICARE for Life what are my options for my daughter who will be 13 and living in my household?

CW5 (Ret) Pete H
Via the internet

Dear Pete,

As you stated, turning age 65 means a person converts to Tricare for Life from Tricare Standard or Prime. Any family members who are younger than age 65 remain on Tricare Standard or Prime. Just like when your spouse turns 65 and you stay on Tricare Prime.

Shaft Notes

  The Sarge joins Chairman Rep Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, in his supporting comments regarding the House vote on the Honoring our Promise to America’s Veterans Act. “Today, more than 160 House Democrats chose to put politics before the needs of America’s veterans and their loved ones. November payments to veterans and their survivors for a variety of earned benefits are now in jeopardy in the event of a prolonged government shutdown. Our veterans have already gone above and beyond for our nation. The last thing they deserve is for the country they courageously defended to abandon them. It’s unfortunate that some in Congress seem to be fighting to ensure that happens.”

Background

The Honoring our Promise to America’s Veterans Act would have ensured that veterans in receipt of VA disability compensation, pension, GI Bill, and other critical benefits could continue to receive those benefits in the event of a prolonged government shutdown. The bill would have also funded the Veterans Benefits Administration at President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2014 requested operational level, ensuring VA claims processing efforts could continue at normal rates. A similar proposal has been introduced in the Senate by Sens. Sanders, Hirono, Begich, Tester, and Blumenthal.

On Wednesday, October 30, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. at the House Triangle on the east front of the U.S. Capitol, leaders from the House and Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs as well as representatives from leading veterans service organizations (VSOs) will hold a press conference to call for swift congressional approval of legislation to extend advance appropriations to all Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs.

Currently, Congress funds only the medical care portion of VA’s discretionary budget – roughly 86 percent of the total – one year in advance. Thanks to this advance appropriation, even during the recent budget stalemate and government shutdown, VA hospitals and clinics were able to continue operating without interruption. Other VA programs and services, including claims processing, were required to scale back operations.

Extending advance appropriations throughout VA would make it easier for the department to plan for key investments in information technology, claims processing and construction projects. It would also give Congress a greater level of oversight on multi-year funding proposals, with one year building off of the next. Additionally, extending advance appropriations to all of VA would help ensure timely, predictable funding for VA services in an era where continuing resolutions and threats of government shutdowns are all too frequent.

I am looking forward to once again celebrating the Marine Corps Birthday (238) with my fellow Marines.

I ask my fellow members of the Marine Corps family to bow their head and quietly recite the following prayer:

"O Lord, we have long known that prayer should include confession. Therefore, on behalf of the Marines, I confess their sins: Lord, they’re just not in step with today’s society.
They are unreasonable in clinging to old-fashioned ideas like patriotism, duty, honor, and country.
They hold radical ideas believing that they are their brother’s keeper and responsible for the Marine on their flank.
They have been seen standing when colors pass, singing the National Anthem at ball games, and drinking toasts to fallen comrades.
Not only that, they have been observed standing tall; taking charge and wearing their hair unfashionably short.
They have taken John Kennedy’s words too seriously and are overly concerned with what they can do for their country instead of what their country can do for them.
They take the Pledge of Allegiance to heart and believe that their oath is to be honored.
Forgive them, Lord, for being stubborn men and women who hold fast to such old fashioned values.
After all, what more can you expect: They’re Marines!"

• Nothing says “Thank You” like a great burger and Shoney’s is set to prove it, as the iconic all-American restaurant brand will thank our nation’s veterans and troops with a FREE All-American Burger™ on Veterans Day, Monday, November 11, 2013.

“For generations, Shoney’s always has been a ‘Welcome Home’ sign to America’s military,” said Davoudpour. “On their national day of celebration and honor, Shoney’s looks forward to welcoming our veterans and troops with a free burger as we thank those who protect our very freedom. We salute you.”

According to Davoudpour, service members will be treated to Shoney’s Signature favorite All-American Burger, a freshly prepared, hand-pattied, grain-fed, 100% ground beef, cooked to order burger, served on a toasted corn-dusted bun with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pickles and mayonnaise.

“It’s named after the greatest country on earth,” said Davoudpour, “and has been a guest favorite for years.”

Shoney’s offer of a free All-American Burger to veterans and active duty military service members is available on Monday, November 11, 2013 at participating restaurants while supplies last. There is a limit of one per day per military service member and the offer is not valid in conjunction with any other offers. Shoney’s military guests will need to provide proof of military service. Offer is valid for Dine-in only and beverage, tax and gratuity are not included.

Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330, call 202/257-5446 or email sgtshaft@bavf.org.