Veterans Day Everyday

As you are reading this column, Veterans Day has passed by, but to those that have served and still are serving, consider every day to be Veterans Day. Why? Because our troops are deployed to over 145 countries around the globe, keeping the entire world safe. And if need be, in a moments notice, are ready willing and able to defend the United Stated from her enemies whom so ever it may be.

TRICARE Prime and Select Open Season

On Nov. 12, TRICARE will kick off its first open season where Prime and Select beneficiaries can enroll in or change their health care coverage plan for 2019. The open season period will last until Dec. 10 and any changes made during this period will become effective Jan. 1, 2019. If you are satisfied with your current plan then your coverage will continue automatically for 2019, as long as you remain eligible for coverage.

TRDP and FEDVIP Updated

The current TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) will end Dec. 31, 2018, and will be replaced by the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP). Vision plans will also be available to eligible TRICARE beneficiaries through FEDVIP. The first opportunity to enroll in FEDVIP is during the 2018 Federal Benefits Open Season, which runs from Nov. 12, 2018, through Dec. 10, 2018. Coverage begins on Jan. 1, 2019. In general, retired uniformed service members and their families who were eligible for TRDP in 2018 are eligible for FEDVIP dental coverage, and if enrolled in a TRICARE health plan, FEDVIP vision coverage, beginning in 2019. Family members of active-duty uniformed service members who are enrolled in a TRICARE health plan are eligible for FEDVIP vision coverage.

VA launches a New Website

As part of a multi-year digital modernization effort, VA has reformatted to consolidate information about VA programs. The consolidated website enables veterans to use their HealtheVets, DS Logon, or account to track the status of benefits and claims, refill prescriptions, message their doctors, and request a Veterans ID Card.

Shop Amazon, Support the VFW Foundation

With the holidays quickly approaching, online shoppers have the opportunity to assist America’s veterans, service members, and their families by shopping at AmazonSmile and selecting the VFW Foundation as their charity of choice. Amazon will donate 0.5 percent of the total purchase price to the Foundation upon checkout. Items eligible for donations are indicated on the products’ pages. Donations to the VFW Foundation support many vital troop support programs, such as financial grants to help military families during emergencies, veterans’ scholarships, assistance with filing VA claims, and more. You can even select the VFW Foundation as your AmazonSmile charity of choice after the holidays are over. Call the Foundation at (816) 968-2720 if you have any questions.

POW/MIA Update

Army Air Forces Pfc. Joseph I. Natvik, 20, of Madison, Wis., whose remains were previously identified, will be buried Nov. 25 in Columbus, Wis. Natvik was a flight engineer assigned to the 1330 Army Air Force Base Unit, Air Transport Command.

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Robert L. Zehetner, 19, of Brooksville, Fla., whose remains were previously identified, will be buried Nov. 30 in Bushnell, Fla. Zehetner was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division.

Marine Corps Sgt. Dwight W. Randall, 22, of Fresno, Calif., whose remains were previously identified, will be buried Nov. 20 in his hometown. Randall was a member of Company C, 2nd Amphibian Tractor Battalion, 2nd Marine Division. Randall died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

Navy Molder First Class Kenneth B. Armstrong, 36, of Seattle, whose remains were previously identified, will be buried Nov. 30 in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. Armstrong was assigned to the USS Oklahoma. Armstrong was one of 429 crewmen killed in the attack.

Navy Seaman 1st Class Kirby R. Stapleton was stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft on Dec. 7, 1941.  Interment services are pending.

*Also to those that are out hunting, be sure to let some one know the location you are going in case you do not make it home by night fall. Have a safe and enjoyable season.

Till next week, praying for all veterans.


– Charles Castelluccio