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Nov 14

FRA NewsBytes November 14, 2014

FRA Newsbytes 11/14/2014

FRA Newsbytes 11/14/2014

In this issue:
Lame Ducks Work on NDAA
Tune in to FRA On the Radio – the “Welcome Home Show,” Saturday, November 15
FRA Attends Marine Corps Birthday and Marine Corps Ball
Retiree Appreciation Day
FRA Building Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
Members of Congress with Military Experience

Lame Ducks Work on NDAA
Although voters selected a new Congress, the current (Lame Duck) Congress still holds office until January 2015. The current Senate is considering derailing floor amendments and a final vote on the Senate National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA-S. 2410) and will go with a separate Defense Authorization bill that has been worked on behind closed doors with staff and select members of House and Senate Armed Services Committees. This still unnumbered bill will be delayed until December and will have to be put on the fast-track without any committee or subcommittee hearings. This mystery bill will only have time to get an up or down vote in the House and Senate without any opportunity for amendments.

The final bill reduces BAH, provides for a smaller pay raise (one percent) and increases pharmacy co-pays for TRICARE Standard and Prime. Members are urged to use the FRA Action Center (action.fra.org/action-center) to urge their Senators to bring the Senate NDAA bill (S. 2410) to the floor for consideration of key amendments and a final vote.
Tune in to FRA On the Radio – the “Welcome Home Show,” Saturday, November 15
On Saturday, November 15, 2014 from 2:00-4:00 pm Eastern Standard Time, tune in to WIBG.AM via the internet (see instructions below) and listen to a radio talk show, “Welcome Home Show.” This time slot will be devoted to awareness about FRA. Thanks to the generous donation by Branch 013, Atlantic City, N.J., this two-hour radio session will focus on FRA with Joe Griffies as the host.

At 2:30 pm, our own Shipmate NP John Ippert, NVP Roger Mitchell, JrPNP Virgil Courneya, and NED Tom Snee will call in from FRA National Headquarters and discuss the importance and benefits of joining FRA. This talk show is designed specifically to enhance our membership.

You can listen to the show via the internet; if you would also like to call in and say a short message about FRA, please dial the number below. PLEASE pass this information along to members of your branch or committees!

Listen live over the internet: www.wibg.com – click on WIBG AM – click on “Listen Live”
To call into the show, dial 609-398-1020.
FRA Attends Marine Corps Birthday and Marine Corps Ball
On Saturday, November 8, 2014, NP John Ippert, NED Thomas Snee, DLA John Davis and ADLP Stephen Tassin attended the Marine Corps Ball. NED Snee engaged with the Sgt. Maj, Commandant’s Staff and other key contributors to the mission of FRA and discussed FRA’s agenda for the coming year.

On Monday, November 10, NP Ippert and DLP John Davis attended the Marine Corps Birthday event at the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, Va. The keynote speaker was Senator Tim Kaine (VA). He focused on the state of Virginia, which historically was very influential with the military and especially with the Marines, stationed at the Pentagon, Henderson Hall, Quantico, and the Iwo Jima Memorial. USMC Commandant Gen. Dunford announced that Sgt. Maj. Barrett was retiring after more than 34 years of service. Following the announcement, the Commandant laid a wreath at the Memorial in honor of Marines who died in the line of duty.

Other dignitaries in attendance included former Virginia Senator and Marine Chuck Robb, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Juan Garcia, Assistant Commandant Gen. Paxton, and former Commandant Gen P.X. Kelly. Following the ceremony, NP Ippert spoke with Sgt. Maj. Barrett about the FRA.
Retiree Appreciation Day
FRA’s Bob Washington participated in the 56th Annual Retiree Appreciation Day, held on October 10, 2014, at the Joint Base Ft. Myer-Henderson Hall. The Retiree Appreciation Day is an important opportunity for FRA to support those who have served. This event is hosted by the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Retiree Council and the entire retired community. Several vendors from across the military community participated in providing information about their organizations to the retirees. This is an annual event and we look forward to participating again next year.
FRA Building Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
FRA Headquarters will officially re-open its doors on Saturday, November 15. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 11:00 am with the (1991) JrPNP and current National Presidents of the FRA and LA FRA doing the honors. The headquarters has been under construction for the past eight months. In April, the staff moved from their first and second floor offices to the third floor, and now will all be reunited on the second floor.

The new office space, including the old conference room, which was converted to offices for membership services, will be a tremendous benefit to our staff. A major difference from the old configuration is that on the first floor, the first things one sees when walking in to the main corridor with the ship-board like planks on the floor are a new conference room with the latest in IT improvements and a modern new museum which together add to the total “future” of the FRA. A reception and waiting area await all who enter and contribute to the “homecoming” effect of the total production.

FRA has already hosted meetings in the new conference room, and the comments from the attendees were full of ‘WOW!” This transformation marks a major step forward in the Association’s headquarters, which has been located in this building since 1991. New conveniences, brighter lighting, and a genuine sense of welcome highlight the hard work that has been done (and endured) by all. All shipmates and auxiliary members are most welcome to witness the new face of their Association headquarters.
Members of Congress with Military Experience
The number of Representatives with military experience in the upcoming 114th Congress, which starts in January, 2015, will decline from 84 to 81. The number of Senators with military experience will actually increase from 19 to 20. This will be the first Congress in a very long time that does not have any World War II veterans.