Closing In on Alzheimer's by Barbara Basler 03/21/08
This month, scientists are expecting to announce final test results for the first in a whole new gereration of drugs designed to attack the underlying cause of Alzheimer's desease-medicines that offer what one expert calls"genuine, tangible, quantifiable hope" for those with mild to moderate forms of the illness. How to join a trial group more  The advice applies to individuals, whether in the original Medicare plan or a Medicare managed-care plan, who have not signed up for Medicare Part B (medical insurance).  If you have not enrolled in Part B, you will not be eligible to participate in more

However, there's still time.  If you're 65 or older and aren't covered by Part B, you can sign up for it during a General Enrollment Period (GEP).

The next critical step to prepare yourself for TRICARE For Life is to update your DEERS information.  If it is not current, you may run into problems when you attempt to take advantage of the new pharmacy benefit for Medicare eligible service beneficiaries, which begins on June 1st, 2007.  Having accurate DEERS information is also a must if you hope to participate in TRICARE For Life when it begans on Oct. 1, 2007.

Failure to enroll in Medicare Part B or update your DEERS information before January 31st, 2008, could deny you access to important health care benefits.

DoD, Corporate America Turn Matchmakers

Since military spouses need jobs and corporate America needs qualified workers, DoD and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce aim to do a little matchmaking.

"This is a marriage made in heaven -- all we need is the pastor." said Craig Johnstone, head of the chamber's Center for Corporate Citizenship.  "We can marry self-interest with doing the right thing for the community and the nation as a whole."

There are about 650,000 spouses in the military community, according to Alphonso Maldon Jr., assistant defense secretary for force management policy.  These men and women need technical training and job opportunities.  "That's where we need help." he said.

"Military spouses have the talent, but often not the education."  Maldon stressed.  "They've got the determination, dedication and the commitment.  They'll make whatever sacrifices that they have to because that's their way of life."

DoD and the chamber launched a partnership initiative in October 1999 to highlight military quality of life issues and to strengthen connections between the business and military communities.  Founded in 1912, the chamber is a nonprofit business federation representing 3 million businesses, 3,000 state and local chambers, 830 business associations and 87 overseas American Chambers of Commerce.

The U.S. chamber and multibillionaire Ross Perot are currently looking at setting up a nonprofit, Internet-based exchange system, he said.  It would allow military spouses and retiring veterans to list their job qualifications and private companies to list their vacancies.  "We can provide a matching service to meet the requirements of the U.S. military and also to get the employees we need for the business community as a whole."  Johnstone said.  Johnstone also urged chamber members to consider other ways of helping the military in terms of financial services, transportation, housing and other quality of life aspects.  "There's an awful lot that we can do together." he said.
Reservists have Commissary Challenge for 2008

Officials with the Defense Commissary Agency are issuing a challenge to reserve component members in 2008.  Shop regularly in the commissary and we guarantee you and your family will save more than $2,000 in the New Year.  The key for unlocking the door to savings is the Commissary Privilege Card (DD Form 2529) issued annually to Guard and Reserve members by their units.  The card contains 24 blocks to record dates of the 24 authorized visits during the calendar year.  Personnel who have not received their Commissary Privilege Card for their "24 in 2008" visits should contact their unit immediately.  Neither commissaries nor the Defense Commissary Agency issue the cards.

"Gray area" reserve component personnel - those who have retired from the reserves and will be entitled to retired pay at age 60:  but who are not yet 60 - also need the Commissary Privilege Card in order to take advantage of their 24 annual commissary visits.  Commissary Privilege Cards for "gray area" personnel are mailed annually from locations where their military personnel records are retained.  To be eligible to shop in the commissary, reserve component personnel, including "gray area" personnel, and immediate family members need a valid ID card and  current Commissary Privilege Card, Commissary personnel date and initial a block on the card for each visit.

Reserve and Guard personnel on active duty and their family members can shop in the commissary as many times as they wish by showing an ID card and active duty orders.  During active duty periods, they do not need to show a Commissary Privilege Card to commissary shop.  "Part time soldiers have become critical to performing day-to-day mission of the U.S. military," said Charles Cragin, assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs, recently.  "This year, Guardsmen and Reservists will perform 13 million duty days," he added.  Ten years ago when there were more Guard and Reserve members, they contributed a million duty days a year.
How to Get a Copy of Your DD-214

To obtain a copy of your DD-214 quickly, call one of the following phone numbers:
Army (314) 538-4132
Air Force (314) 538-4218
Navy (314) 538-4200
Marines (314) 538-3155
Coast Guard by fax only, (314 538-4175
Be prepared to furnish complete name, social security number, branch of service, and dates of service.

World War II Pacific Veterans

Stephen Ambrose is writing a new book about those who served in the Pacific theater (combat and non-combat)!

Please share your stories and memories as a part of history!

For information or to submit your experiences, thoughts, and/or materials.
please contact:

Debbie McCabe
3710 Mesa Ridge Rd.
Houston, TX 77043
email: usmca@hotmail.com


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Volunteers Still Needed for Alzheimer's-Free Project
TRICARE Management Activity is soliciting participation from eligible beneficiaries in Colorado, Kansas,Missouri and Minnesota to become involved in the ALZHEIMER'S-FREE ME demonstration project.....more