In the Military
For and about Hawaii's servicemen and women

By Gregg K. Kakesako

See also: For Your Benefit

Club 100 veterans get
sentimental road sign

Dr. Jerry Barnett, a lifetime member of the 34th "Red Bull" Division Association, likes to escape Iowa winters by visiting the islands. While here, the retired doctor spends Sundays serving as a docent at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

While at Punchbowl, Barnett met veterans of the 100th Battalion, the World War II Army unit made up mainly of Japanese Americans, which was attached to the 34th Division during campaigns in North Africa and Italy. In Iowa, Highway 34 is named after the 34th Division. On his own, Barnett decided to get a highway sign and give it to the 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans Association.

With the help of Richard Moss, who designed the highway marker, Barnett last month presented it to members of Club 100 to be displayed in their Keeaumoku Street clubhouse.

The Armed Forces News reported that on Nov. 18, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., ruled 9-4 against a class-action lawsuit on behalf of certain military retirees.

The suit, filed in 1996 by retired Air Force Medal-of-Honor recipient Col. Bud Day, alleges that the government reneged on a lifetime contract when a 1956 law was passed that changed "hospital space shall be made available" to "may be made available."

The suit seeks to restore free health care for military retirees 65 and older who were on active duty before the law was passed, and their dependents. It also requests reimbursement of money that has been withheld from Social Security pay to finance Medicare Part B, as well as relief from future Medicare deductions. Day has stated previously that, if turned down by the appeals court, he will seek a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court. reports that the Pentagon will use the 2005 round of military base closures to create a new generation of multimission, multiservice bases, according to Raymond DuBois, deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment.

DuBois told Government Executive that the next round of the base realignment and closure process will be part of the Pentagon's transformation effort, not simply a cost-cutting exercise, and will be approached from a war-fighting, mission-oriented point of view. DuBois said the new round of closures will attempt to create bases that can be used by more than one service for a variety of missions. He cited the Army's depot in Corpus Christi, Texas, where both Navy aircraft and Army helicopters are repaired, as an example of the kind of arrangement that the Pentagon will seek to replicate in the 2005 BRAC process.

"In the Military" was compiled from wire reports and other
sources by reporter Gregg K. Kakesako, who covers military affairs for
the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. He can be reached can be reached by phone
at 294-4075 or by e-mail at

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