"Now Hear This" is where you will find announcements for upcoming events or news which might be of interest to NCVA-NE members.
NCVA-NE Challenge Coin Now Available!We are accepting re-orders!
For details go to the NCVA-NE Ship's Store.
NCVA-NE Gift to Community of Lake Placid
As has been our tradition of giving back to our Mini-Reunion Host Community, The NCVA-NE Auxiliary members, will be bringing non-perishable food items for the Lake Placid Ecumenical Food Pantry. Those desiring to contribute may also make monetary donations with checks made out to the Lake Placid Ecumenical Food Pantry.
For more information on the May 10-12, 2013 NCVA-NE Spring Lake Placid reunion please go here.
For a recent article on the Food Pantry please go here.
It's official: Requests for DD-214's are NOW On-line.
The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) has provided the following website for veterans to gain access to their DD-214's
This may be particularly helpful when a veteran needs a copy of his DD-214 for employment purposes. NPRC is working to make it easier for veterans with computers and Internet access to obtain copies of documents from their military files.
Military veterans and the next of kin of deceased former military members may now use a new online military personnel records system to request documents.
Other individuals with a need for documents must still complete the Standard Form 180, which can be downloaded from the on-line web site. Because the requester will be asked to supply all information essential for NPRC to process the request, delays that normally occur when NPRC has to ask veterans for additional information will be minimized. The new web-based application was designed to provide better service on these requests by eliminating the records center mail room and processing time.
Please pass this information on to former military personnel you may know and their dependents.
*NOTE: eVetRecs is compatible ONLY with IE v 4.5 - 8.0 Due to technical issues, costs, and other factors, eVetRecs is ONLY compatible with Internet Explorer versions 4.5 to 8.0. If you do not have one of those versions, please use Standard Form 180.
eVetRecs upgrade is currently planned for 2013.
Vote for NCVA-NE and Lake Placid as the site for the 2016 National Reunion!
For details please go to the NCVA website: http://usncva.org/ttv2013/
You can also download/view the Official Ballot: http://usncva.org/ttv2013/NCVA-Ballot-Package-2013.pdf.
Mail-in Ballot contains:
2016 NCVA Reunion Bids
Lake Placid, New York
Board of Directors Candidate Biographies
FYI: To save the PDF file to your computer, right click on the link and pick the folder you want to save it to, for example, My Documents. To view the online file, click on the link. [Note: You must have Adobe Reader or similar PDF reader installed to read the file.]
This is the third year the Association has offered three forums for casting your ballot.
1. Hand-in ballot in person at the annual reunion -- Polls Close at 19:00 ET on 28 May 2013.
2. Mail-in ballot (only) -- Mail-in Ballot must be received by the NCVA not later than 30 April 2013. Print out and fill in the Mail-in ballot above.
3. On-line: fill out your ballot electronically -- Electronic ballot will close at 21:00 ET 30 April 2013.
You may vote using the Survey Monkey link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NJ5ZWZD
The National Security Archive
The National Security Archive is an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Here is the link: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/
Phu Bai Vietnam by Al (Gary) Lucier
A few months ago retired Commander Dan Davis, posted on Joe Glockner's website, that he was looking for photos from Phu Bai vets. I sent along the few that I have and he made a web page with those photos.
You can view Al's photos here:
[November 1, 2012] - To All NCVA-New England Chapter Auxiliary Members and Friends
The most recent hurricane/tropical storm affected nearly all of the area from which we draw most of our Chapter membership and well beyond.
If you have specific needs, as a result of the storm, please let your shipmates know. Individually, we may not have a great deal of resources, but together we are Navy strong. Please send us an email and tell us how you faired the storms and we will make certain the Chapter membership hears about it.
In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers go out to each and everyone one of you and your families.
Art & Suzie Gowie
Getting the Most Out of Your VA Benefits
This article from the Veterans Benefits Administration helps Veterans understand the many programs and services offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). You’ll find information on health care, education and employment programs, insurance and home loans. Go to http://www.vba.va.gov/VBA/ for details.
Scroll down below the Bits 'n Bytes listings for more links to VA/Veteran's pages.
2012 Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents
VETERANS NEWS from the National Association of Uniformed Services (NAUS)
2012 Federal Benefits Book Available
The 2012 Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents book is now available at the VA website. To link up, click here ( http://www.va.gov/opa/publications/benefits_book.asp ) . NAUS is not aware of any plans for VA to distribute hard copies of this always very useful booklet.
"Aid and Attendance" an Under-Used Benefit
WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is reaching out to inform wartime veterans and surviving spouses of deceased wartime veterans about an under-used, special monthly pension benefit called Aid and Attendance.
"Veterans have earned this benefit by their service to our nation," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson. "We want to ensure that every veteran or surviving spouse who qualifies has the chance to apply."
Although this is not a new program, not everyone is aware of his or her potential eligibility. The Aid and Attendance pension benefit may be available to wartime veterans and surviving spouses who have in-home care or who live in nursing-homes or assisted-living facilities.
Many elderly veterans and surviving spouses whose incomes are above the congressionally mandated legal limit for a VA pension may still be eligible for the special monthly Aid and Attendance benefit if they have large medical expenses, including nursing home expenses, for which they do not receive reimbursement.
To qualify, claimants must be incapable of self support and in need of regular personal assistance.
The basic criteria for the Aid and Attendance benefit include the inability to feed oneself, to dress and undress without assistance, or to take care of one’s own bodily needs. People who are bedridden or need help to adjust special prosthetic or orthopedic devices may also be eligible, as well as those who have a physical or mental injury or illness that requires regular assistance to protect them from hazards or dangers in their daily environment.
For a wartime veteran or surviving spouse to qualify for this special monthly pension, the veteran must have served at least 90 days of active military service, one day of which was during a period of war, and be discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
Wartime veterans who entered active duty on or after September 8, 1980, (October 16, 1981, for officers) must have completed at least 24 continuous months of military service or the period for which they were ordered to active duty.
If all requirements are met, VA determines eligibility for the Aid and Attendance benefit by adjusting for un-reimbursed medical expenses from the veteran’s or surviving spouse’s total household income. If the remaining income amount falls below the annual income threshold for the Aid and Attendance benefit, VA pays the difference between the claimant’s household income and the Aid and Attendance threshold.
The Aid and Attendance income threshold for a veteran without dependents is now $18,234 annually. The threshold increases to $21,615 if a veteran has one dependent, and by $1,866 for each additional dependent. The annual Aid and Attendance threshold for a surviving spouse alone is $11,715. This threshold increases to $13,976 if there is one dependent child, and by $1,866 for each additional child.
Additional information and assistance in applying for the Aid and Attendance benefit may be obtained by calling 1-800-827-1000. Applications may be submitted on-line at http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/main.asp. Information is also available on the Internet at www.va.gov or from any local veterans service organization.
US Family Health Plan Update!
Dear US Family Health Plan member,
You may have heard about new federal legislation that will change US Family Health Plan eligibility requirements. Don't worry! These changes do not affect you or other current members of the Plan. But they will affect the eligibility of retirees you may know who aren't yet enrolled with us.
What the changes mean
- Military retirees ages 65 and older who aren't enrolled in US Family Health Plan before October 1, 2012, won't be eligible to enroll in the future. Instead, they will have to use a combination of Medicare and TRICARE for Life.
- Military retirees younger than 65 who do not enroll in US Family Health Plan before October 1, 2012, will be moved to Medicare and TRICARE for Life when they turn 65.
Window of opportunity
For a very short time, retirees can be "grandfathered" into lifetime enrollment in US Family Health Plan, with the full benefit that today's members-like you-enjoy. But they must enroll before October 1 ,2012, in order for this to happen.
Please spread the word
Again, because you are now a member of US Family Health Plan, as long as you remain continuously enrolled, these changes don't affect you.
But if you know any military retirees who aren't yet enrolled in US Family Health Plan, please let them know that they don't have much time left to become members for life. Be sure to invite them to attend one of the many local Q&A sessions that we'll hold over the next few months. They can find out dates and times at http://www.usfamilyhealth.org or by calling us at 1-888-815-5510 (toll free).
As always, thank you for your membership and your willingness to spread the word about the quality of our Plan. We're honored to provide your care.
Director of Marketing and External Services
All Hands Collection to Benefit USS Liberty Movie Production
To All Members and Friends of NCVA-NE Chapter,
As the NCVA-NE Secretary/Treasurer, under the guidance of the NCVA-NE BOD, I am accepting an all hands donation (any amount will be most welcomed) supporting the film production, manufacturing and distribution of the USS Liberty movie "Justice for the Liberty" as described by Ol' Sarge Bryce Lockwood at the Spring Mini-reunion in North Conway, NH.
This is not something that anyone from the Liberty has asked us to do, but one of those things that we can include in our outreach to our shipmates.
This call for donations will end on 30 June 2012 and forwarded to the Liberty folks. However, contributions will still be accepted after that date and forwarded at a later date.
It is requested that checks be made out to "NCVA-NE" and mailed to me at:
c/o Art Gowie
PO Box 599
Bangor, ME 04402-0599
Please mark the memo line on the check, "USS Liberty Film"
Monies donated will be given in the name of NCVA-NE without mention of individual contributors. If you wish to make a personal donation go to http://usslibertyveterans.org/ and click on "GET INVOLVED" and go from there.
FYI: The 45th anniversary of the attack is June 8, 2012.
Thank you for your Service to Our Country!
Follow up - Email from Bryce Lockwood, October 20, 2012
Received your check from the NE-NCVA today for $1,610.
Please accept, on behalf of the USS Liberty veterans, our sincerest thanks!
Warm regards, and Semper Fi !
The Ol' Sarge
National Cryptologic Museum Foundation
FYI - This is from their website: http://cryptologicfoundation.org/
Welcome to the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation’s (NCMF) web site. The NCMF is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that was established in April 1996 to provide direct support to The National Security Agency’s (NSA's) National Cryptologic Museum (NCM).
The fundamental objectives of the Museum and therefore the Foundation are to: educate the public on the role cryptology has played in our national security; commemorate those in the cryptologic community that have made significant contributions; and to stimulate visitors, especially the young, to consider careers in fields so critical to NSA’s past and future success – mathematics, computer science, engineering, and foreign languages.
Click on A Museum like No Other and you can learn more about the history of the Museum and get an idea of the kind of exhibits that are available. For a more in depth look at what the Museum has to offer and to take a virtual tour you can go to the Museum link on the NSA web site. Want to visit the museum? Click on Plan a Visit for all the details.
The About the Foundation link will provide you with the history of the NCMF, some idea of what is going on within the organization, who the principal players are, and some suggestions on how you can help.
If you click on the Recognition link you will see some of what we do to commemorate not only those who have made significant cryptologic contributions but those that have helped the Foundation in our effort to support the Museum by making significant financial contributions.
What the Foundation does to support the Museum is, by far, the most important part of this web site. Information in this regard is located in two places: (1) Direct Museum Support where you will find information on all the acquisitions that have been made for the Museum as well as various other initiatives that assist the Museum in serving the public; and (2) Our Goal – A New Museum where activity related to plans for a new museum are provided in addition to joint Museum and NCMF efforts to improve the existing facility.
Finally, the Members Only section of the site will enable active members of the NCMF to view previous versions of The Link, the bulletin of the NCMF, NCMF news, a listing of active NCMF members, articles produced by the NSA History Program and announcements and invitations to forthcoming events. If not a member, please join, if an active member, please visit.
Enjoy your visit to the NCMF web site. If you have any comments, good or bad, go to contact us and send us an email.
Thanks for visiting!
New Social Network Site for Veterans
I just wanted to extend to you an invitation to join us on a social networking site built exclusively for veterans. You can locate friends and buddies you have served with from the past and make new ones along the way. As well as create groups for your local detachments and veteran organizations you might be affiliated with. I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to seeing you on it.
Here is the link: www.defensenetworkalliance.com
Semper Fidelis and God Bless America,
Sgt Ed "Sully" Sullivan
Protect VA Healthcare Act of 2012
A bill has been introduced in the House by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) to To amend the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 to clarify that all veterans programs are exempt from sequestration. To read the text of the bill please go to this website:
To track H.R.3895 and other legislation and to contact your senator or representative you can go here: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php.
Larry Peterson Photos
Larry Peterson’s photography is featured in the 2012 edition of *Maine Invites You*, the primary publication of Maine’s Office of Tourism and the state’s official travel planner. The cover shot is his, as are the images on pages 115 and 116. Page 4 contains an explanation of the cover photo and a short bio on him. These magazines are available free at all tourist nformation locations in Maine, including those along Interstate 95.
A free copy can also be ordered online at: http://www.mainetourism.com/content/4047/Travel_Planners/ and can be viewed online at: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/16bfc9e9#/16bfc9e9/1
Larry’s photography business email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org and his website is: http://larrypetersonsmaine.com/
Stolen Valor Act Deemed Unconstitutional 6.28.12
UPDATE - United States v. Alvarez, 567 U.S. ___ (2012), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that the Stolen Valor Act (Act), 18 U.S.C. § 704, is an unconstitutional abridgment of the freedom of speech under the First Amendment.
Read the details here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Alvarez
For a copy of the decision follow this link to the US Supreme Court: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-210d4e9.pdf
VA Expands list of AO at risk ships
The VA has expanded the list of ships with Agent Orange risk. For the complete list and other news concerning Agent Orange visit their website: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/shiplist/index.asp
Merrill Spaeth[Wife of NCVA-NE member Edmond Spaeth]
Merrill Marie Hunting Spaeth, 66, of Fishkill, died on 6 January 2012, as a result of a motor vehicle accident.
Please go to her Memorial page here.
Smartphone Pictures Pose Security Risk
If you use your smartphone to post photos to the internet and social media websites, take a few minutes and watch this report. Note the solutions at the end of the piece.
Honoring Our Flag - When and How to Salute
To salute the flag, all persons come to attention. All persons in uniform should give the military salute. Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may also render the military salute. All other persons should salute by placing their right hand over their hearts. Men wearing a head covering (a hat, cap or other headwear) are to remove it. Women do not have to remove their head covering.
In parades or reviews, at the moment the flag passes, each individual should stand at attention facing the flag and salute.
The Flag of the United States is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of the national anthem, whichever is longer.
When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute by placing their right hand over their heart at the first note and holding the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music. If in uniform, the person should salute in the formal manner. It is proper to salute wherever the national anthem is played, for instance, on a college campus, in a public park, in a church, at a ball game, sports event, etc.
When, on U.S. soil, the national anthem of more than one nation is played, the visitors’ national anthems are played first, and may or may not be followed by our National Anthem. During the visitors’ anthems, all present should stand at attention and face the flags of the nations (or the music, if they are not present). Men not in uniform should remove their hats as well.
We contacted the Institute of Heraldry (Army) regarding the rendering of a salute during anthems of other nations. They did not have an official answer to this question but commented that they felt it would be appropriate for U.S. citizens to salute only during the playing of our National Anthem. We concur with that recommendation.
To salute a flag in a moving column, it is proper to start the salute as the flag enters your position and end when it has passed..
When the Pledge of Allegiance is recited, citizens should stand at attention and salute by placing their right hand over the heart with the first word and hold the salute through the last line of the Pledge. The salute is directed to the flag by facing it during the Pledge.
New Form Will Assist with Death Notification
11/2/2011 - CLEVELAND (AFRNS) -- Defense Finance and Accounting Service officials report that survivors can now use a "fast form" to report the passing of a retiree on the Internet rather than waiting on the phone.
The DFAS Form 9221 for notification of death can be processed quicker than faxed or mailed forms, said officials, and they save paper and postage costs. Officials warn that if a survivor doesn't receive confirmation of receipt from DFAS within 48 hours of submitting the form, they should call 800-321-1080.
The form can be completed and submitted online from the privacy of a customer's home, or with the help of a casualty assistance representative. Submitting the form initiates all of the same actions a DFAS customer care center representative would:
- The retiree's account will be suspended to avoid release of monthly payments.
- A Standard Form 1174 claim form will be sent to the retiree's arrears-of-pay beneficiary.
- If the decedent was enrolled in the Survivor Benefit Plan or the Retired Serviceman's Family Protection Plan, an annuitant care package will be sent to the beneficiary.
The notification-of-death form is only for reporting the death of a military retiree. Annuitant deaths must still be reported to one of the DFAS customer care representatives at 800-321-1080.
To access the notification of death fast form, click on the link at http://www.dfas.mil/retiredmilitary/forms.html.