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MOAA "Storms the Hill"

Dateline: 4/20/2018

WASHINGTON (April 20, 2018) — Leaders of the Florida Council of Chapters of MOAA visited legislators’ offices Wednesday, April 18, on behalf of Florida’s service members and veterans and their family members and survivors. The Hill visits were coordinated through the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) as part of the association’s largest annual grassroots advocacy event: Storming the Hill.

Along with the rest of the Florida team, local chapter president, Colonel Mike Borders, U.S. Army, retired, met personally with legislators and staff members from the offices of nine senators and representatives, to convey MOAA national’s unified messages on key issues.

MOAA national prepared material regarding maintaining military pay and benefits in order to recruit and retain an all-volunteer force.  Colonel Borders asked legislators and their staffers to support the proposed 2.6-percent pay increase for our active duty servicemembers for 2019 and to further protect against the erosion of military pay and benefits.  He also discussed ending reduced pay for Chapter 61 retirees. Chapter 61 retirees, so named because of the chapter in Title 10 U.S. Code that covers disability retirements, have been medically retired prior to reaching a 20-year service career with a disability rating of 30 percent or greater. There are over 200,000 such individuals caught in a “Catch-22”, with over 90% being former enlisted personnel.

 “MOAA members spent Wednesday calling for important legislative actions to benefit service members, veterans and spouses. We clearly made a statement as 150 MOAA members fought for the 200,000-plus Chapter 61 retirees, the president's 2.6 percent pay raise for 2019 and for further protection for military pay and benefits,” said MOAA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret). “We also shared vital information regarding extraordinary TRICARE fee increases, and the need for legislation to end the “Widows’ Tax” for those surviving spouses who lose some or all of their Survivor Benefit Plan annuity to pay for the Dependency Indemnity Compensation. While the Storming effort rings a loud bell on Capitol Hill, its true impact will be realized in the weeks to come, as MOAA's government relations staff continues to work with members of Congress to make these critical actions a reality.”

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