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 […]

Clovis church aims to become military-focused

Christina Calloway Central Baptist Church in Clovis is making an effort to serve military members by transitioning into becoming a military-focused church. Associate Pastor Dick Ross is one of the main members active in making this transition. “We want to become a military-focused church because we have a large number of military members at our […]

Keeping fees means cutting force

Tom Philpott

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 […]

Students band together to send DVDs to troops

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Cannon Connections: Alisa Boswell Eva Zaldivar, 3, left, helps her grandmother, Wilma Ploudre, fill care packages to send to soldiers overseas. Westminster Presbyterian Church in Clovis sends care packages to deployed troops. Alisa Boswell An Eastern New Mexico University student donated more than 300 DVDs for military care packages being sent by ENMU professor Patricia […]

Veteran profile: Mark Cage, U.S. Navy

Courtesy photo Mark Cage Alisa Boswell Name: Mark Cage Military background: 11 years active duty in U.S. Navy and New Mexico National Guard; 8 years in Navy Reserve, all in law enforcement. Current career: A lieutenant with the Portales Police Department. What was one of your most significant military experiences? We were traveling through the […]

‘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, […]

EO complaint process misconceptions clarified

By Tech. Sgt. Melinda Morris: 27th Special Operations Wing Equal Opportunity The Equal Opportunity complaint process is often misunderstood and confusing. The military complaints process offers assistance to active duty personnel, guard and reserve on Title 10 orders, retirees and dependents. The EO office does not serve only military members. There is also a civilian […]

Daycare center has new facilities

Christina Calloway: Cannon Connections The Cannon Air Force Base Child Development Center is now housed in a brand new larger facility to accommodate the needs of more military families. The groundbreaking for construction began June 10, 2010, and the facility was opened on Nov. 7. Director of the daycare center, Kathy Morgan, said the facility […]

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 […]

Study, support group ‘Loving Your Military Man’ organized by Cannon spouses

Cannon Connections: Christina Calloway From left, Leslie Scott, Laura Sammons, and Danielle Cowart are three military wives and mothers dedicated to helping other military wives with the struggles that come with being married to military men. The women are facilitators of the 10-week workshop, Loving Your Military Man hosted at Central Baptist Church in Clovis. […]

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, […]

Sweet Home New Mexico: Proud to be part of a select few

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Sometimes, I wonder if I am the only one that feels a special sense of pride when I hand my military I.D. to the friendly gate guards as I make my way onto the base. As soon as I am beyond the gate, I can’t help but feel this little surge of glee that I […]

TRICARE Prime option available to young adults

By Brian P. Smith: TriWest Healthcare Alliance Military families have a new TRICARE Prime option for young adults without healthcare coverage. TRICARE Young Adult Prime gives eligible family members TRICARE Prime medical (and pharmacy) coverage with low out-of-pocket costs for a $201 monthly premium. Military family members who are not married, who have “aged out” […]

Officials stress keeping faith on military retirement

By Jim Garamone: American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON — The Defense Department has no proposals or recommendations on revamping military retirement at this time, but any future proposal must not break faith with those in the military today, senior Pentagon officials told Congress Oct. 25. Jo Ann Rooney, the principal deputy undersecretary of defense for […]

Family Matters blog: Dealing with deployments

I spoke to a spouse last year about dealing with deployments and keeping military marriages strong. Her husband had just returned from a yearlong deployment in Iraq. She cited an example of the types of issues that can arise when communication falls to the wayside. As the primary disciplinarian while her husband was gone, she […]

4Troops: Musical group comprised of veterans to perform

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Victor Hurtado: Courtesy photo Clockwise from left, 4Troops band members Meredith Melcher, Tony Genpilo, Joey Beebe and Ron Henry will be performing in Clovis at 7 p.m. Saturday at Marshall Middle School Auditorium. The band, made up of four veterans, has achieved national fame and tours all over the U.S., playing for veterans, military members […]

Military mama: Time to end chapter

Our lives are storybooks. Each page turns and the adventure continues. This chapter of my life is coming to an end. I will still be a wife and a mommy, but I will no longer be a military dependent. After eight years, my hubby is separating from the service. It was so surreal sending my […]

Commissary boss: Value overlooked

Military grocery stores operate so efficiently that the discounts provided to shoppers are worth double the value of tax dollars being spent to deliver this prized benefit worldwide to U.S. service members and families. Joseph H. Jeu, director of the Defense Commissary Agency, made that point and more in an interview last week amid rising […]