STOP-LOSS TROOPS TO RECEIVE EXTRA PAY FOR SERVICE TIME

October 23, 2009

STOP-LOSS TROOPS TO RECEIVE EXTRA PAY FOR SERVICE TIME

Troops who were not allowed to leave the military under the program known as stop-loss will begin receiving retroactive payments, the Defense Department said this week.

About 185,000 troops are eligible for the payments. They were those who, after events of 9/11 and the U.S. response, were not allowed to retire or be discharged on time, but were, instead, involuntarily extended in the active service to ensure the military had enough officers, skilled personnel and combat enlisted men for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The new policy requires DoD to give each eligible service member or veteran $500 for every month served under stop-loss, according to a report in the New York Times. Families of troops who died while on stop-loss are also eligible for the same amount of compensation. There are now 5,200 troops still serving under stop-loss, the newspaper said, and they are already receiving the $500 per month in extra pay.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said he will end stop-loss in early 2011 when all troops serving in that capacity come home. Those seeking claims have until Oct. 20, 2010 to do so. The services have developed online application processes and Web sites defining criteria, as well as their systems for seeking out eligible people who may have lost contact with their service branch.

Here’s where to get information for the Army and the Air Force:

http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/stoploss

or e-mail [email protected]

Documentation must be provided to prove the person was affected by stop-loss. This can be a certificate of discharge, separation orders, retirement orders, memoranda from previous commanders or other documentation. People who do not have all the documentation are encouraged to go ahead and file because the service may have the necessary paperwork for the claim to be allowed.

Retirees and Vets Allowed to Salute Flag (via postie)

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Week of November 16, 2009

Traditionally, members of the nation’s veterans service organizations render the hand-salute during the national anthem and at events involving the national flag while wearing their organization’s official head-gear. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 contained an amendment to allow un-uniformed servicemembers, military retirees, and veterans to render a hand salute during the hoisting, lowering, or passing of the U.S. flag. A later amendment further authorized hand-salutes during the national anthem by veterans and out-of-uniform military personnel. This was included in the Defense Authorization Act of 2009, which Former President Bush signed on Oct. 14, 2008.