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At Your Service
For and about Hawaii's military

By Gregg K. Kakesako

Sunday, August 19, 2001



[In The Military]

Deployments
For Your Benefit



San Francisco parade to feature Hilo native

Hilo native Army Brig. Gen. Rodney Kobayashi will be the grand marshal of this year's San Francisco Veterans Day Parade in November. Kobayashi is currently the assistant commander of the 104th Division in Vancouver, Wash., and has been selected to receive his second star and assignment as commander of the 91st Division (Training Support) in Dublin, Calif. In civilian life he is a territorial manager for the Internal Revenue Service and lives in Washington.

Kobayashi began his military career as an enlisted soldier in the Hawaii Army National Guard's 29th Infantry Brigade in 1966 and was activated for Vietnam duty in 1968. After he left active duty in 1971, he joined the Army Reserve and was a company commander in the 100th Battalion/442nd Infantry. He later served in various positions with the Army Reserve in California. He is a graduate of the University of Hawaii.

Senate expected to vote on Akaka home-loan bills

The U.S. Senate is expected to act on three bills authored by Sen. Daniel Akaka that would help reservists and native Hawaiian veterans obtain home loans. Two Senate committees have approved for a vote by the full Senate later this year Akaka bills that would extend through 2005 the Native American Veteran Housing Loan Program and continue the authority of the Veterans Affairs home loan guaranty program to issue loans to reserve members through 2011.

Barking Sands to receive $12 million for housing

U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie says the House Military Installations and Facilities Subcommittee has agreed to include $11.84 million for revitalization of 69 officer and enlisted housing units at the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands on Kauai in the FY 2002 Defense Authorization bill.

Abercrombie said the missile range funding was particularly important because of its central role in the Navy's training program.

"The key to the Navy's continued presence in Hawaii is the state-of-the-art training capabilities of Barking Sands," he said.

"Adequate housing for the people who staff the facility is just as important as the high-tech equipment used for naval exercises."

Abercrombie, ranking member of the subcommittee, said the current version of the defense authorization bill contains $365.8 million worth of military construction projects for Hawaii.

Moving up

>> Camp Smith: Rear Adm. William D. Sullivan will become director for strategic planning and policy, J5, U.S. Pacific Command. Sullivan currently serves as commander of U.S. Naval Forces in South Korea and will replace Rear Adm. Steven G. Smith who will become director of the Office of Program Appraisal in the office of the secretary of the Navy.

>> Pearl Harbor: Capt. Joseph Moore will relieve Capt. J. Stephenson Edmonson as commanding officer of the Naval Medical Clinic. Edmonson's next command will be the Naval War College.


[Deployments]

U.S. Navy (Pacific Fleet)

Western Pacific

USS Chosin (CG 65)

USS Asheville (SSN 758)

USS Buffalo (SSN 715)

USS Columbia (SSN 771)

USS Santa Fe (SSN 763)

USS Los Angeles (SSN 688)

USS Frederick (LST 1184)

USS O'Kane (DDG 77)

USS Olympia (SSN 717)

USS Port Royal (CG 73)

Hawaii area

USS Chicago (SSN 721)

USS Charlotte (SSN 766)

USS Tucson (SSN 770)

USS Honolulu (SSN 718)

USS Columbus (SSN 762)

USS Hamilton (DDG 60)

U.S. Army

Panama City, Maldives: 7th Engineers

Russia: U.S. Army Pacific

East Timor: 9th Regional Support Command, 25th Division

Bosnia: 25th Division

South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia: Tripler Army Medical Center

Alaska, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Micronesia, Kwajalein: 84th Engineers

Los Alamitos: 25th ID

Cambodia: U.S. Army Pacific

Florida: 70th Engineers

United Arab Emirates, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand: Pacific Regional Veterinary Command

England: 125th Signal

Hawaii National Guard

Idaho: 204th Airlift Squadron, Air National Guard


[For Your Benefit]

VA benefits can be scaled
or denied to vets in prison

Question: My husband is currently in prison and is a veteran. Will his Veterans Affairs benefits be affected?

Answer: The VA pays certain benefits to veterans who are imprisoned.

However, the amount depends on the type of benefit and reason for incarceration.

The veteran's disability compensation will be reduced beginning with the 61st day of imprisonment for a felony. The payments will be restored when he is released and has participated in a work release or halfway house program, is paroled and has completed his sentence.

If a veteran is receiving a VA disability pension and imprisoned as the result of a felony or misdemeanor conviction, such pension payment will be discontinued effective on the 61st day of imprisonment.

While incarcerated veterans do not forfeit their eligibility for medical care, current regulations restrict the VA from providing hospital and outpatient care to an inmate in an institution of another government agency when the latter agency has a duty to give the care or services.

VA can take all or part of the amount of compensation the veteran is receiving and apportion it to the spouse, child or children and dependent parents on the basis of need. Pension and compensation benefits will be resumed when the inmate is released if the veteran provides the VA with notice of release within a year.

Question: Please tell me what effect Tricare for Life will have for a military retiree with a 100 percent disability rating.

Answer: Your disability rating has no effect on your Tricare or your Tricare for Life eligibility.

All Tricare eligibility is based on a person's entitlement to retired, retainer or equivalent pay, not a VA rating.

Some 100 percent service-connected disabled veterans are not eligible for Tricare and will never be eligible for Tricare for Life.

If you are entitled to retired, retainer or equivalent pay, you are eligible for Tricare now, and if you become entitled to Medicare when you turn 65, you will become eligible for Tricare for Life if you are enrolled in Part B of Medicare at that time.

For any given episode of care, you must choose between the VA and Tricare or Tricare for Life (when you become eligible).

If your back goes out, for example, you could get care from the VA or from Tricare, but not both.


If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran, call Fred Ballard at Veterans Affairs at 433-0049 or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.


Gregg K. Kakesako can be reached by phone at 294-4075
or by e-mail at gkakesako@starbulletin.com.



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