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Georgia Council of MOAA Georgia Council of MOAA
Georgia Council of MOAA

Georgia Council of MOAA

Georgia Council of MOAA
Georgia Council of MOAA
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                BREAKING NEWS

Note from MOAA: Are you a retiree family using TRICAmailRE Select? You must act now to pay the new enrollment fee or you will be disenrolled from TRICARE as of Jan. 1, 2021. Call or visit your TRICARE contractor’s website for details.

Just 14 percent of the military retiree households who must start paying enrollment fees for Tricare Select have set up their payment process, Tricare officials said.

Those who don’t set up their payments by Dec. 31 risk losing their Tricare coverage as of Jan. 1. The new fees are $12.50 per month, or $150 a year for an individual; and $25 a month, or $300 a year, for family coverage. Those affected are working-age retirees under age 65 who entered the military before Jan. 1, 2018, their family members and survivors. Previously, these beneficiaries haven’t had to pay enrollment fees for Tricare Select, but a 2017 law required the Defense Department to start charging these enrollment fees by Jan. 1, 2021.




The preferred payment method is through allotment, but recurring credit or debit card transactions can be used, or electronic funds transfers. Click here for more information from Tricare about setting up the payments.

Those who set up their payment process by Nov. 20 won’t have to pay upfront enrollment fees, said Mark Ellis, chief of policy and programs for the Tricare Health Plan. You’ll just be arranging to start the recurring payment. As of Nov. 9, just 14 percent of the households that must set up payments had done so, Ellis said.

Currently there are about 850,000 beneficiaries who fall into this category, also known as Group A retiree beneficiaries and are covered by Tricare Select. Information was not immediately available about how many households those 850,000 beneficiaries represent, since in many cases, multiple beneficiaries are covered under a retiree’s Tricare Select plan.

Ellis' message to these beneficiaries: “Please don’t let coverage lapse. Please contact your regional contractor if you want to continue in Tricare Select.”

The new fees don’t affect military retirees in Tricare for Life.


[RELATED: TRICARE Prescription Drug Costs Won’t Rise in 2021]


Defense officials have sent out several mailings over the last few months, Ellis said. They’ve also taken some steps to mitigate the impact to those who don’t set up their payments.

Tricare officials have extended the grace period for people to reinstate their coverage, from 90 days to 180 days, Ellis said. That means those who are terminated can pay their missed monthly premiums, and the coverage will be retroactive. Tricare will then pay the claims that were denied because of the coverage termination.

There are concerns that this particular patient population “needs to be educated to make an informed decision about whether they want to continue their coverage or use other health insurance available outside the military health system,” Ellis said. Many of these retirees were previously in the Tricare Standard or Extra program before it was replaced by Tricare Select in January, 2018. These beneficiaries were automatically transitioned into Tricare Select at that time, and fees were not required.

Tricare officials have directed the Tricare regional contractors to make at least three phone calls to households whose coverage was terminated because they didn’t set up their payments. They’ll call the home phone, cell phone, work phone, speaking to an adult in the household, letting them know their coverage has been terminated and what they can do to reinstate the coverage, said Ellis.



1) Veterans Day

2)  Prevent/Reach Program

3) Purple Heart Month - August

4)  Infantry News

5)  VA News

6)   DOD ID News


2020 Veterans Day Events


The GVDA is excited to present our Veterans Day Observance Ceremony at The Battery Atlanta on 07 November 2020 at 11:00am.  The 60 minute program will feature a Color Guard, patriotic music, and veteran-themed speakers from around the State of Georgia.  


The Observance Ceremony is free and open to the public.  Parking fees in the area of Truist Park and The Battery Atlanta are paid lots with very reasonable pricing programs.  

Bring the entire family, grab your camp chairs, and come watch this great event to honor our Nation's Veterans. So, mark your calendars and join us on November 7th!

Send in your videos today!

Join us on our mission to honor Georgia's Veterans!

The 39th Annual Georgia Veterans Day Parade will be a virtual event this year to comply with all state and local COVID-19 guidelines.  

Don't miss out on this great opportunity to show your community how your support our Nation's Veterans!  Are you a member of a company that employs Veterans?  Do you have Veterans in your organizations or club?  Does your social group want to show your support for Veterans and your community?

Then submit your video today!  It's free.  It's easy.  And it helps you get involved in your community and offer your thanks to our Veterans.

The 2020 Virtual Veterans Day Parade will be presented at 12:00pm on 

07 November 2020 through multiple online platforms immediately following our Observance Ceremony at The Battery Atlanta. 

Awards will be presented this year for:  Most Patriotic, Best Military, Best Veteran, Best Band, Best Marching, Best Non-Veteran, and Best ROTC Unit.  Videos will be used by the judges to determine the winners in each category.  Entries must identify which two categories they wish to be considered for when you submit your video.  

Follow the link below to sign up and reserve your place in this year's 2020 Virtual Veterans Day Parade.  Your video does not have to be ready before your sign up, so fill out the form and we will give you information on how to upload your video when it is good to go.  Have fun making these videos and do your absolute best to honor Georgia's Veterans!

​Video Submissions


           Video #1:

            30 second clip of your entry marching/driving past the camera in parade formation.

             (See image below for camera orientation)                                          

            Video #2 (optional):

            1 minute video about your entry (company, school program, organization)

            Showcase how you honor Veterans or support your community.


             How to Enter:                  Sign up here to participate


             Deadline:                         Must be uploaded no later than 20 October 2020

​Requirements and Guidelines for submitting videos


  • All videos will be fully produced by the submitter.  GVDA will not assist in the production or in the completion of any video submission.

  • All videos may be subject to editing for time or content.

  • All videos must be produced in MP4 format.

  • Video cannot contain music that you do not own the rights to.

  • Videos cannot contain the following:

    • Obscene or inappropriate language, images, words, or messages.

    • Political-themed messages to include candidates or political groups.

    • Images or videos that you do not own the rights to.


GVDA reserves the right to not show any videos that we feel are inappropriate or not in keeping with the theme of our events or are against the message of the Georgia Veterans Day Association.

If you have any questions or require additional information about how to submit the video from your company/school/ROTC/association, please email us at:


VA launches new electronic health record system, reaching milestone in Veteran care

OEHRM go live in the PNW

 Posted onTuesday, October 27, 2020 4:00 pm Posted in HealthTechnologyTop StoriesVA Medical Centers by VAntage Point Contributor

In a landmark event for Veteran health care, VA began using its new electronic health record (EHR) system at select facilities in the Pacific Northwest and Las Vegas on Oct. 24.

VA will deploy the new system at facilities across the country over a 10-year period, scheduled to end in 2028. After the implementation at Mann-Grandstaff, VA plans to roll out the EHR at sites in Alaska, Idaho, Ohio, Oregon and Washington state.

This modern EHR will help improve the health care experience for Veterans by connecting VA medical centers and clinics with the Department of Defense (DOD), the U.S. Coast Guard and community care providers. It will allow clinicians to easily access a Veteran’s full medical history in one location, without needing to track down information such as pharmacy or lab records.

“This is great news for our nation’s Veterans, who deserve the best health care in the world,” said John H. Windom, executive director of VA’s Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization, which leads the nationwide EHR deployment effort. “This technology will help VA improve health outcomes and access to care for our Veterans.”

First locations

Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Washington, and its associated clinics in Wenatchee, Washington; Libby, Montana; and Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint, Idaho, are the first VA medical facilities using the new EHR system. Together, these locations serve more than 24,000 Veterans. The other deployment site, the West Consolidated Patient Account Center in Las Vegas, is an administrative facility that supports Mann-Grandstaff and other VA facilities in the Pacific Northwest.

VA clinicians and administrative staff at these sites can now more easily access patient information directly within the EHR itself, rather than using multiple systems as they had before. This includes patient medications, allergies, immunizations, past medical procedures and ongoing health concerns, as well as contact information, such as addresses, phone numbers and emails.

With this information more accessible, VA care providers will be able to view patient medical histories that will support clinical decision-making and improve Veteran health results. This more complete view of a patient’s records will also allow clinicians to make better connections between Veterans’ time on active duty and potential medical issues they might experience later in life.

“Once it is fully implemented, VA’s new EHR will transform the country’s largest integrated health care system and benefit over 23.9 million Veterans, as well as their families and caregivers,” Windom said. “No other health care organization in the world is attempting something of this scale and complexity, and we are committed to getting this absolutely right for our Veterans.”

Next locations


For more information about VA’s EHRM program, visit

Dr. Laura Kroupa is VA’s Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization’s chief medical officer (CMO). As CMO, she represents VA and the Veterans Health Administration as a clinical leader overseeing clinical strategy and planning efforts for the EHR transformation.

2) Five Facts About REACH, the VA’s New

Anti-Suicide Effort

By: Tony Lombardo

JULY 14, 2020


The White House and the VA launched a new national anti-suicide campaign this month with an emphasis on supporting veterans.

The REACH campaign is part of PREVENTS, the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicides, a three-year effort President Donald Trump created by executive order in March 2019. MOAA supports PREVENTS, and we called it a “much-needed call to action” in testimony delivered in Congress earlier this year.

Here’s what you need to know about the new campaign:

1. What is REACH? It’s both an awareness campaign and a call to action – and not just for veterans. VA states the mission is “to educate all Americans that suicide is preventable and to encourage them to REACH to those in need to provide hope. It also encourages people who are hurting to REACH to find help.”

2. Who is leading the charge? The president’s executive order created the PREVENTS Task Force, which includes leadership from VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. Its lead ambassador is Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence and mother of a Marine Corps officer.

We owe it to [veterans] and all Americans to play a critical role in preventing suicide,” Pence said in a PREVENTS webinar July 8.  “We’re facing an epidemic of suicide right now.”

[MOAA INTERVIEW: Second Lady Karen Pence on Helping Military Spouses Succeed]

3. What do the numbers say? Despite years of suicide prevention efforts across DoD, the data reveal a sustained challenge that needs more research and new solutions. REACH shares the following stats on its website:

  • On average, 132 Americans die by suicide each day, accounting for 47,173 suicide deaths in 2017.
  • The number of veteran suicides exceeded 6,000 each year from 2008-2017.
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among all ages and the second leading cause of death among those ages 10-34 in the United States.

4. Has COVID-19 affected efforts? If anything, the campaign is well-timed. A PREVENTS Roadmap summary released in June notes, “The long-term psychological stress resulting from the pandemic and the massive disruption to our mental health delivery system threatened the mental health of those already vulnerable and increased the likelihood that many more Americans would suffer — resulting in a possible increase in deaths by suicide.”

5. How can you get involved? Visit the REACH website, There you can sign up for campaign updates. You’re encouraged to use the hashtag #REACHnow to “tell your network, it’s time to REACH to prevent suicide.”

If you are struggling, or you are concerned about someone you know, please REACH out and call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1 ), or chat online at


3)  As we begin the month of August, it is our great pleasure to welcome you to

Purple Heart Month!

This month is dedicated to paying our respects to all the brave men and women wounded or killed in combat. The official Purple Heart Day is observed on the 7th day of August each year, commemorating the historic day in 1782 that General George Washington, Commander-In-Chief of the Continental Army, commissioned the first Purple Heart Medal, originally called the Badge of Military Merit.

The Badge of Military Merit is a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk bound with a thin edge of silver with the word merit embroidered in silver across the face. Only 3 Badges of Military Merit were awarded. The Badge of Military Merit was redesigned and re-commissioned in 1932 by General Douglas McArthur in honor of George Washington’s bicentennial birthday. Now known as the Purple Heart Medal – it is the oldest military award, first being awarded to soldiers in World War I and still given to soldiers today.

A presidential order signed in 1942 permitted the Purple Heart Medal to be awarded to all branches of the military including the U.S. Coast Guard. It was World War II, when the qualification to receive the Purple Heart Medal changed to honor those who were wounded or killed in combat – that is why it’s recipients often call it “the medal that nobody wants”. It is unknown how many soldiers actually received it. However, we know that the soldiers listed below are some of the most awarded Purple Heart Recipients in history:

Robert T. Frederick, U.S. Army: World War II (8)

David H. Hackworth, U.S. Army: Korean War (3), Vietnam War (5)

Joe Hooper, U.S. Army, Medal of Honor: Vietnam War (8)

Robert L. Howard, U.S. Army, Medal of Honor: Vietnam War (8)

William Waugh, U.S. Army: Vietnam War (8)

It took the Purple Heart medal many years to evolve into what it is today.  Today, on the reverse of the medal, “FOR MILITARY MERIT” is inscribed. The medal itself is made of brass with a gold color to it, and also contains a bust of George Washington and his coat of arms. The purple color represents the blood of all those who have made sacrifices in war, but traditionally it represent the courage of those who serve. The original color of the medal George Washington created was purple, so it was only fitting that it would be used to honor his memory in the new medal.



Stay Informed

It’s more important than ever to make sure you’re in the know and your military benefits are protected.





Veterans Community Unites Around NDAA Amendment to Cover Additional Agent Orange Presumptives

JUL 15, 2020

Ask your lawmakers to support much-needed relief for Vietnam veterans facing these life-threatening conditions.



TRICARE Select Enrollment Fees: What You Need to Know, and What You’ll Need to Do

JUL 15, 2020

MOAA is working to ensure beneficiaries don’t see a lapse in coverage.



Tony Lombardo

Lombardo spent 15 years working in journalism, most recently as the executive editor of Military Times. As director of audience engagement, he oversees online and print content teams for MOAA’s Communications Department. Follow him on Twitter.



GVDA Press Release

Dear Veterans and GVDA Supporters - 


I wanted to take this opportunity to update everyone on this year’s Veterans Day events and to address our operations during these challenging times.


Like many of you, we have had to adjust our plans due to the effects of COVID-19 and the safety guidelines put in place to mitigate the risk of exposure.  After careful consideration and after reviewing input from members of our Veterans community, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our 2020 events (Veterans Day Parade, Veterans Festival, and the Freedom Ball) and replace them with a series of virtual experiences and smaller observance ceremonies.


The Official Theme for 2020 will honor the United States Army Infantry.  However, due to our modified event platform this year, we will continue that theme into 2021.  In continuous service since 1775, I think the accomplishments of the Infantry are worthy of two years of recognition.


The mission of the Georgia Veterans Day Association remains honoring all of our Veterans and educating the general public on the service and sacrifice of those who have worn our Nation’s uniform.  The change to this year’s schedule will allow us to accomplish our mission, while also ensuring the safety of our team, families, and all of our supporters. 


This year, we will be presenting a Veterans Day Observance Ceremony on 07 November 2020 that will recognize our Veterans and their service to our Nation.  We will release additional details of this observance in the coming weeks.


The GVDA will also be hosting a series of virtual events that will further honor and engage our Veterans and our supporters.  Two virtual events planned so far include a Veterans Day Parade featuring participant videos and a Veterans Festival showcasing military programs from community partners.  More activities are planned, and I encourage everyone to support and participate in these great events.


Our military men and women have always risen to any challenge placed before them.  As Veterans, family members and supporters, we must use that same drive and determination to ensure that our 2020 events are successful and reflect our appreciation to those who have served.


If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact me direct at


Thank you for your continued support of the GVDA and all of Georgia’s Veterans.  




Kevin L Miller


Georgia Veterans Day Association, Inc.


Georgia Council of MOAA

US Department of Veterans Affairs

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#VetResources - for Veterans, their Families, Caregivers and Survivors
VA coronavirus 
updates | chatbot | app | weekly report

VA Podcast: Marine Alex Calfree, co-founder of OpLign, connects Veterans to employers
VNNChow Chat: What's your favorite MRE?
Instagram: VA employee retires, begins volunteering next day at Vet Center

va mobile app rx refill

Rx Refills During the Pandemic

  1. Online with MyHealtheVet 

  2. The NEW Rx Refill Mobile App 

  3. Call your local VA Pharmacy number on the prescription label

  4. By mail: VA Refill Form



Q&A with Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen to discuss how together, we will prevent suicide for Service members and Veterans. 


VA Improves and Expands Caregiver Program

Largest Employers of Veterans in Your State

state largest employers

State representatives shared the largest employers of Veterans in their states. 


VA Launches New Virtual Check-In Feature

Remembering 9/11 with Carry the Load

danny interview carry the load

32 year Army Veteran and former VA employee Danny Pummill, shares his story of being at the Pentagon September 11, 2001. 

The video is featured on Carry the Load's Lessons From the Front. 


Vietnam Veterans discuss managing PTSD

Healthy Plate Method: All About Fats


The fourth episode of VA's Fresh Focus podcast series is focused on fats. Learn healthy tips on adding good fat from whole foods to your plate for energy and nutrition!


Follow VA Careers on LinkedIn for info on VA's culture, job security and benefits.

How VA helps Veteran Business Owners

veteran business

VA’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) is working diligently to ensure small, Veteran-owned businesses maintain the resources needed to keep their businesses afloat during these unprecedented times, with more than $8 billion awarded to date for fiscal 2020.


COVID-19 Maker Challenge

Conquering Veteran Cancer, Together

va teleoncology

VA's Dr. Richard Stone discusses Veteran cancer care, stories of Veteran cancer survivors, how TeleOncology visits work and partnerships to continuously improve care.  



Discuss how Veterans can help prevent Veteran suicide on RallyPoint

Marine Alex Calfee Connects Veterans to Employers online

btb alex calfree oplign

This week's episode of Borne the Battle features Marine Corps Veteran Alex Calfree, the co-founder of OpLign, a website that uses artificial intelligence instead of keyword searches to connect Veterans to employers.



National Resource Directory


Georgia Council of MOAA
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