Senators aim to protect GI benefits

What if the military gave every service member an expensive car as a reward for honorable service, but they could take delivery only at night and the headlights didn’t work? Many of those gift cars might end up damaged. Something similar is happening to thousands of veterans leaving service with Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility worth […]

Proposed agency offers savings

Defense officials have asked Congress to approve a new governance structure for the military health care system that, like higher TRICARE fees, would help to curb what, for a decade, have been runaway medical costs, officials explained. The centerpiece of the plan is to elevate the TRICARE Management Activity to a more powerful Defense Health […]

Their view: Surroundings are what you make of them

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Jeni Ennis is an Air Force wife and mother of three who writes a weekly column in our military newspaper. This is her latest effort:

Student donates 300 DVDs to troops

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By Alisa Boswell An Eastern New Mexico University student donated more than 300 DVDs for military care packages being sent by ENMU professor Patricia Dobson and her Clovis church, Westminster Presbyterian. Dobson said she posts on her Facebook account when items are needed for the military care packages. She said this she was asking for […]

Keeping fees means cutting force

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If Congress blocks Defense Department plans to raise TRICARE fees for military retirees and beneficiary co-pays on drug prescriptions filled off base, the services will have to make even deeper cuts in force strength than now planned, the military’s top health official told lawmakers last week. “Given the constraints of the Budget Control Act, if […]

Their view: Childhood passes by in blink of an eye

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Jeni Ennis is an Air Force wife and mother of three who writes a weekly column in our military newspaper. This is her latest effort:

‘Hollow force’ concerns surfacing

The Congressional Research Service has a message for those who suggest planned defense budget cuts and military compensation curbs will return America to the “hollow force” era of the 1970s. Such references, in light of current force quality and the amount of money used to modernize weapons, infrastructure and benefit programs over the past decade, […]

New budget may call for fee hike

As defense budgets grew over the past decade, Congress shrugged off complaints of runaway military health costs and blocked every proposal from the Bush administration to raise TRICARE fees sharply on retirees. Defense budgets have stopped rising, however, and Defense officials today are sounding more confident that Congress will follow last October’s $5-a-month bump in […]

Press release: Roch bill gives tax break to retired military

Military retirees in living in New Mexico may see their state income tax burden reduced under a bill introduced this week in the State House by Representative Dennis Roch (R-Texico). House Bill 162 proposes to exempt twenty-five percent of a retiree’s military pension income from the state’s personal income tax, with that percentage increasing to […]

Petraeus: Loans force families apart

Many military homeowners who saw their homes plummet in value in the financial crisis still can’t get relief from “under water” mortgages that leave families owing more to loan servicers than their homes are worth. The situation is especially difficult for the military where families must move every two to four years. Some affected members, […]

Their view: Let’s bring back leadership we can be proud of

Allen Weh, an Albuquerque business executive, military veteran and former candidate for governor of New Mexico, writes about the state of America:

Military officials planning Melrose range expansion

Kevin Wilson Representatives from the State Land Office and the state military base planning commission held a pair of informational meetings Thursday on what they hope will expand the Melrose Air Force Range by nearly one-sixth of its current size. The state, working with the Department of Defense, has set aside $5 million towards the […]

Cannon set for open house

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Benna Sayyed Cannon Air Force Base will open its doors to the public this Saturday to give residents a look at what a highly trained specialized military force does. The open house will showcase Cannon’s 27th Special Operations Wing airpower capabilities and demonstrate the relationship that Cannon has with the community. “The open house is […]

Wednesday morning briefing: Military friendly, secret tour and Chief Joseph

Good morning and welcome to the Freedom New Mexico Wednesday briefing. Military friendly Eastern New Mexico University in Portales has been named a “Military Friendly School” by G.I Jobs, a magazine devoted to helping military members make the transition to civilian life. This distinction makes ENMU among the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and […]

Conflict arises on veteran hiring

Executives from more than 20 companies traded ideas on hiring more military veterans in this tough economy, and easing their transition into civilian careers, during a special “Veterans Employment Summit” last week hosted by the House Veterans Affairs Committee. Before a single idea could be shared, however, executives watched uncomfortably for 10 minutes as their […]

Sept. 21 — ENMU briefs

ENMU designated military friendly Eastern New Mexico University in Portales has been named a Military Friendly School by G.I Jobs, a magazine devoted to helping military members make the transition to civilian life. This makes ENMU among the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide in assisting current military members and veterans. […]

Officials reluctant to cut retirement

Military careerists have been spun up this month, unnecessarily in our view, by sensational headlines and news bulletins about a plan to “slash” their retirement, citing a “Pentagon study.” The study was done by the Defense Business Board, a group of independent business executives that advises the secretary of defense from time to time on […]

Cuts could impact TRICARE users

Low reimbursements are the top reason physicians say they turn away beneficiaries who use TRICARE Standard, the military’s fee-for-service insurance option, or TRICARE Extra, the preferred provider option, according to TRICARE health care provider surveys. Access to health care for these two groups of beneficiaries could become an even bigger challenge thanks to the convoluted […]

Military digest: Board: Military retirement overly generous

By Tom Philpott Gen. Martin Dempsey, Army chief of staff, seemed to splash figurative cold water on ideas surfacing at the Pentagon and elsewhere to cut future retirement obligations and other personnel costs, deeply and soon. Testifying at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee to become the next chairman of the Joint […]

Their view: Let’s ditch ‘us vs. them’ mentality

Cannon Connections columnist Loni Newby discusses the animosity between local and military families: