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Archive for the ‘Veterans’ Category

Financial Instructions for Survivors of Deceased Veterans

Sunday, December 20th, 2020

If you are retired military (or DoD/USG Civilian), please save this and pass it to your family so they know what to do with your retired pay, SBP, VA, DEERS, VGLI and Social Security when you pass.

Retired pay ends when the retiree dies. Survivors must promptly report a retiree’s death to help avoid delays and possible financial hardship to surviving annuitant beneficiaries, family members or executors who will be required to reimburse any retired pay overpayments.

Please follow the steps below to report the death of a military retiree:

Step 1 – Notify the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) Casualty Care Team at 1-800-321-1080. Please have the retiree’s Social Security Number and the date of death when you call.

Upon notification, DFAS will begin to close out the pay account to prevent any overpayments.

Step 2 – Contact your financial institution and inform them of the death of the retiree.

Step 3 – Within 7-10 business days of reporting the death to DFAS, you should receive a condolence letter.

If the member is due arrears of pay you will also receive a Claim for Unpaid Compensation of Deceased Member of the Uniformed Service (SF 1174).

If the decedent was enrolled in the Survivor Benefit Plan or the Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan, you should also receive an Annuity Care Package for completion and return.

Step 4 – Complete the SF 1174 you received with your condolence letter and return with a copy of the retiree’s Death Certificate that reflects cause of death to:

DFAS U.S. Military Retired Pay

Defense Finance and Accounting Service

U.S. Military Retired Pay

8899 E 56th Street

Indianapolis IN 46249-1200

If you need assistance completing your claim form please contact the DFAS call center at 800-321-1080.

Contact List: In addition to notifying DFAS, you should also notify the following agencies/departments as soon as possible:

* Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213.

* Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System at 800-538-9552.

* Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at 800-827-1000 for military retirees receiving disability compensation.

* Office of Personnel Management at 888-767-6738 if the member was a current or retired federal civilian employee.

* VA at 800-669-8477 for retirees enrolled in a VA-sponsored life insurance policy, such as National Service Life Insurance.

* Office of Servicemember’s Group Life Insurance at 800-419-1473 for retirees enrolled in Veteran’s Group Life Insurance.

Information provided by CSM Jeff Mellinger (USA, Ret)

New Book Shares True Stories of Veterans Living with PTSD and the Unwavering Support They Received From Their Service Dogs

Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

Author Christine Hassing brings awareness to the level of healing service dogs bring to those living with trauma in ‘Hope Has A Cold Nose’

BLOOMINGDALE, Mich. – Statistics show that twenty-two U.S. military veterans commit suicide per day. This alarming issue inspired author, mentor and inspirational speaker Christine Hassing to learn more about the experiences of veterans suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and military sexual trauma (MST). She soon discovered the remarkable impact service dogs played in their journey towards healing and recovery. Wanting to share their perspective, she collaborated with twenty-three veterans and compiled their unique stories in her recently published book, “Hope Has A Cold Nose.”  This incredible collection of true tales conveys how service dogs make the difference for those reintegrating themselves into civilian life.

While earning her master’s degree, Hassing’s path intersected with a veteran and his service dog. After listening to their story, she knew that she wanted to spotlight the struggles of fellow veterans like him who are healing from trauma with the support of their furry friend. From sensing a nightmare and waking a veteran before terror takes hold, to placing a comforting paw on someone’s shoulder to ward off a panic attack, these dogs provide immeasurable support day and night.

Each chapter shares the story of a different human-canine pair as they explore their life changing relationship. The compelling testimonies from each and every storyteller in the book reminds readers of the importance of compassion and community during the recovery process for veterans.

“It is my hope that the stories within this book can raise awareness about service dogs as a healing modality for those journeying with PTSD,” says Hassing. “and to inspire those who are struggling to not lose their will to live.”

An inspiring read, “Hope Has A Cold Nose” showcases the holistic healing power of canines. Filled with extraordinary stories of resilience, compassion, survival, hope and recovery, this book is an unforgettable look at how animals can help their human counterparts heal from the deepest emotional wounds.

“Hope Has A Cold Nose”

By Christine Hassing

ISBN: 9781982255282 (softcover); 9781982255305 (hardcover); 9781982255299 (electronic)

Available at the Balboa Press Online Bookstore, Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Great News for Surviving Spouses Regarding Survivor Benefit Plan / Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Offsets

Sunday, December 6th, 2020

The Defense Finance and Accounying Service Sissies this note regarding Survivor Benefit Plan / Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Offsets:

As you may know, Congress enacted changes to the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) that will eventually eliminate the offset for surviving spouses who are also receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  The changes will take place in three phases.

January 1, 2021 begins the first phase.  In 2021, surviving spouse SBP annuity payments issued by DFAS will be reduced (offset) by no more than two-thirds of the amount of DIC (issued by the VA) rather than by the entire amount of DIC, even though eligible surviving spouses will continue to receive the full amount of DIC from the VA.

Beginning January 1, 2022, the second phase, surviving spouse SBP annuity payments will be reduced (offset) by no more than one-third of the amount of DIC (issued by the VA) rather than by the entire amount of DIC, even though eligible surviving spouses will continue to receive the full amount of DIC from the VA.

On January 1, 2023, the SBP-DIC offset will be fully eliminated.  That means, beginning in 2023, SBP payments will no longer be offset by DIC.  Spouses will receive full SBP (issued by DFAS) and full DIC (from the VA).

For more details and frequently asked questions, see our special SBP-DIC News webpage: go.usa.gov/xGfqd

Warriors Heart Announces Collaboration with MTM|Watch for Limited Series Timepiece Collection

Friday, November 20th, 2020

Bandera, TX – November 20, 2020 – Warriors Heart, a private treatment facility providing care for addiction and chemical dependency & PTSD for active military, veterans, law enforcement and first responders, has announced a collaboration with MTM | Watch, the leading manufacturer of sophisticated, tactical and military watches worldwide, to offer a limited-edition series of the MTM Warrior timepiece, benefiting the Warriors Heart Foundation.

Available exclusively at www.mtmwatch.com/warriors-heart, this collection of timepieces is seamlessly connected to the wearer, and those supported by Warriors Heart’s facility. Celebrating Law Enforcement, Fire Rescue, Military and First Responders, each version of the timepiece will feature the Warriors Heart logo in one of four colors, representing the hero communities cared for by the facility (Red, Orange, Green and Blue).

MTM has promised 40% of the proceeds from each purchase will go directly to the Warriors Heart Foundation, where they will be used to subsidize the cost of treatment for a Warrior or First Responder in need. The foundation is driven solely through the donations of others, supporting programs that address the unmet needs of suffering servicemen and women and give individuals and communities the tools to become self-sufficient.

“MTM proudly stands by the efforts of the Warriors Heart Foundation to support programs that address the unmet needs of suffering service men and women (Military, Veterans and First Responders). From chemical dependency and PTSD treatment, to service dogs and arts and culture classes, these programs give individuals and communities the tools to become self-sufficient warriors long after the support ends,” stated MTM Founder, Joe Casis.

The Warriors Heart Edition Watches are American-made and feature tritium gas-filled tubes on the index and hands. The watch movement is swiss-made Ronda quartz and the dial is made of a carbon fiber compound that is similar to the quality used by NASA. With sapphire glass crystal, along with a 316L solid stainless steel or titanium case, band bezel and locking screw down crown, the Warrior is a truly rugged , unique and durable watch you can depend on.

“Teaming with MTM to offer the Warriors Heart Limited Edition Time Piece, allows us to celebrate two very powerful entities, the Heroes of our nation, and an American made company to celebrates those who give it all, “stated Warriors Heart co-founder, Tom Spooner. “MTM’s innovative designs and styles are a true parallel to the lives of those Warriors Heart works to provide care for. We are honored to partner with such a selfless organization, who truly understands what it means to give back to the heroes.”

Available now through www.mtmwatch.com/warriors-heart the Warriors Heart Warrior timepiece is the perfect addition to your collection; all while making a difference in the lives of our warriors and their families.

Marine Veteran Scooter Brown (Band) // “Something Waylon Would Sing” 11/11

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020

Both the double single and the Scooter Brown Merica Bourbon Signature Series were released today, Veterans Day, November 11. This day holds special meaning to the band as Scooter Brown is a Marine Veteran himself, serving multiple tours overseas, and Matt Bledsoe, the drummer in the band, an Army Vet, as well as Merica Bourbon, which was crafted by Military Veterans and made by Americans that want to share the taste of freedom. 

Their new double single honors Jennings with an original song, “Something Waylon Would Sing,” and with a cover, “Don’t You Think This Outlaw Bit’s Done Got Out Of Hand.”

Co-written by frontman Scooter Brown, “Something Waylon Would Sing,” takes us back to the outlaw era of country music as the single begins with Brown speaking the lyrics, then slowly builds into the toe tapper that it is.Their rich, familiar vocals highlight thematic references to traditional outlaw country and Waylon himself. The band’s cover of “Don’t You Think This Outlaw Bit’s Done Got Out Of Hand” pays homage to Jennings by staying close to the original, but with their unique spin, modernizing the tune. Listen to both songs here.

“Something Waylon Would Sing” is sure to resonate with those that are longing for the days of the outlaws.

Polaris Off Road and Zac Brown Band Partner on Exclusive Concert to Support Veterans

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020

Polaris Off Road to Stream Exclusive Performance on December 27th to Raise Money for Camp Southern Ground’s Veterans Programs

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (November 11, 2020) – Polaris Off Road, the world leader in powersports and off-road innovation, teamed up with Zac Brown Band and Camp Southern Ground for the Proud American Thank You initiative to honor veterans and active military personnel. The initiative kicks off on Veterans Day and culminates with an exclusive performance by Zac Brown Band, available to stream, on December 27th with all donations going to Camp Southern Ground’s veteran programs.

Beginning today, you can join Polaris and Zac Brown Band in honoring our nation’s veterans by donating to Camp Southern Ground. Then on December 27th, Zac Brown Band and Polaris will host the Proud American Thank You concert, where Polaris will match every dollar donated during the performance, up to $25,000. Camp Southern Ground is a non-profit organization committed to providing extraordinary experiences with a dedicated veterans program designed to serve post-9/11 veterans and their transitions to life after military service.

To donate or learn more, visit CampSouthernGround.org/Polaris.

“Polaris takes pride in being an American company built on the values that shaped our nation, values that are protected and exemplified by the brave men and women who have—or are currently—serving our country. Together with Zac Brown Band and Camp Southern Ground, we want to say, ‘thank you’ for their service, sacrifice and commitment to our nation,” said Steven Menneto, President of Polaris Off Road.

“Teaming up with Polaris to raise money to support veteran programs at Camp Southern Ground is a privilege that I don’t take for granted,” added Mike Dobbs, CEO of Camp Southern Ground. “Camp Southern Ground’s veteran programs, Warrior Week and Warrior PATHH, were developed to support the mental health and wellbeing of transitioning veterans. Our goal with the Proud American Thank You is to raise funds to continue to provide that programming at no cost to veterans.”

Zac Brown Band is a frequent collaborator with Polaris and shares the same commitment to supporting our nation’s veterans. Brown started Camp Southern Ground to serve children with diverse backgrounds and abilities, and the project has grown to address the needs of service members transitioning to civilian life after active duty.

In addition to the Proud American Thank You fundraising concert, Polaris will continue its Heroes Advantage Program, offering discounts on vehicles to America’s active military, veterans, first responders, and medical professionals. Polaris works with other programs like its Salute to Service initiative with the Wounded Warriors Project. As a longtime partner of the United States military and allies around the world, Polaris produces a versatile lineup of utility, transport, and tactical off-road vehicles through its Polaris Government’s Defense business. With hundreds of current and former services members part of the Polaris team, including Chairman and CEO Scott Wine, Polaris believes in supporting those who protect this nation’s freedoms, especially after their service is completed.

For more information about the Proud American Thank You and to make a donation, visit CampSouthernGround.org/Polaris, and join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

*Camp Southern Ground is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Tax ID #27-3082862. All gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. If you have any questions, please contact a Camp Southern Ground representative by email  at [email protected].

Limited Edition Veteran’s Day Raptor Charging Handle from Radian Weapons

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020

On September 2, 1901 as Vice President, Theodore Roosevelt used the phrase “speak softly, and carry a big stick” to describe his position on foreign policy. Later to be defined as Big Stick diplomacy, this theory set the foundation for his future presidency.

A decorated Veteran of the Spanish American War, lieutenant colonel of the Rough Rider Regiment, and youngest President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt is our inspiration for this year’s Limited Edition Raptor Charging Handle.

Finished with an OD green cerakote handle, a clear anodized shaft and laser engraved with the famous quote, “Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick; You Will Go Far.” this one-of-a-kind Raptor & Talon Combo is one you can’t afford not to add to your collection. A portion of the proceeds from this product will be donated to Warfighter Outfitters; Veterans helping Veterans on the water and beyond.

radianweapons.com/accessories/charging-handles/2020-veterans-day-combo

*Limited Quantities Available. While Supplies last. The purchase of a Limited Edition Raptor cannot be combined with any other discounts, offers, or promotions. Limit 2 per customer.

Brownells Supports Veterans Group With Shirt Sales Throughout November

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020

GRINNELL, Iowa (November 11, 2020) On Veterans Day, Brownells launched a set of limited-edition T-shirts with all profits generated by those shirts to be donated to Special Operations Wounded Warriors.

For sale only until the end of November, the shirts are available in three styles and colors – sizes small through XXXL – and are emblazoned with pro-veteran and patriotic images and slogans.

“Brownells has proudly supported SOWW for years,” said Brownells Vice President of Marketing Ryan Repp. “We hope the t-shirts are a big hit and help us generate more money for this great cause.”

All of the limited-edition t-shirts retail for $19.99 and can be found on this page at the Brownells website.

About SOWW

SOWW (Special Operations Wounded Warriors), a 501(c)(3) Charity, was formed in August of 2012 for the distinct purpose of providing outdoor experiences to a select group of both active duty and veteran U.S. Military Special Operations Forces, that have received wounds in battle, and have received our country’s prestigious Purple Heart Medal. To donate or for more information, visit www.sowwcharity.com.