Stan Spangle Sr.: Attention all Reservists and Air, Army National Guard

Nov. 23, 2012 @ 01:17 AM

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and avoided putting on extra pounds. I’m glad the election is over and all of the campaign ads are gone. November was an eventful month for us (Marines) of the Pfc. Terry C. Smith, Detachment No. 1193, Marine Corps League. Nov. 10 was the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday and the Ball Committee did a FANTASTIC job. A great time was had by all, and a big thank you, goes out to the High Point Country Club at Emerywood.
ATTENTION:  All members of the Air and Army National Guard and all Reservists, if you are Tricare Reserve Select and Tricare Retired Reserve Enrollees, you must set up your monthly premium payments to be made by electronic funds transfer (EFT) or debit/credit card to begin by Jan. 1, 2013. If you have not already done so, you need to contact your Tricare contractor and set this up.
Congressman Tim Walz, D-Minn., a life member of TREA (The Retired Enlisted Association) with co-sponsors Congressmen Tom Rooney, R-Fla., Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, and Jeff Denham, R-Calif., introduced HR6574, the Service-member Mental Health Review Act. This bill will direct the Department of Defense to set up a special board that would review and correct over 30,000 personality and adjustment disorder discharges that have been issued between 2001 and present day.
A large number of these service members were wrongfully discharged with either a personality disorder or inability to adjust disorder, when many of them were suffering from PTSD, or TBI (traumatic brain injury). Personality and adjustment disorders are considered pre-existing conditions; DoD was not obligated to provide the full benefits they would have received if these service members had been honestly diagnosed with PTSD or TBI.
With a wrongful diagnosis, they became ineligible for many health care, disability, economic or employment opportunities with the subsequent separations. DoD and its component services have denied service members with mental health issues as a result of combat or sexual trauma preventing them from getting the help they need. This bill will correct a major injustice that has been done to these veterans.
As most of you know, a great deal of the information that I pass on to you in these Veterans Views columns, I get from TREA (The Retired Enlisted Association). The secretary of Veterans Affairs, Gen. Eric Shinseki was one of the speakers at the Veterans Day Ceremony in Washington. He passed on some interesting info, such as 22 million living Americans today have distinguished themselves by their service in uniform.
For the past 11 years, the men and women of our armed forces have stood watch in Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe, Korea and more than 150 other countries around the globe. We are reminded that today, less than one percent of Americans wear the uniform of our nation. The sum of their service to our country, is beyond ANY measure. OoRah!
Pray for the families of the fallen.
Semper Fi.

Stan Spangle Sr. is a 21-year veteran of the Marine Corps, serving in Korea and Vietnam. He’s a member of numerous veterans organizations. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.