Veterans Hotline: New VA committee chairman against adding costs to veterans

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas and a great beginning to 2011.

Everything slows down at the end of the year, so I haven’t written any articles for a while.

Let’s start the new year with this quote from Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla.:

“With the (Veterans Affairs) budgets rising dramatically in recent years, it’s time for Congress to check if those extra billions of dollars are being spent wisely,” Miller said.

Miller is the new chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

He said he was “inclined to look at added resources through dollars” to address veterans’ needs, and “where I may be more focused on helping to increase resources through efficiencies.”

“We need to focus not only on delivery of services, but the cost at which services are being delivered to the veteran,” Miller said.

Miller said he opposes any initiative to raise co-payments or filling prescriptions in VA pharmacies. He said he will also fight any attempt to raise TRICARE fees, deductibles or co-pays.

There are significant cost savings that can be made before you ask the veteran to make another sacrifice, he said.

Miller said he backs pending post-9/11 GI Bill reform legislation that has at its center expansion of coverage to include most types of vocational training.

More information on this article can be read in this December’s Legion magazine.

Germany settles on World War I debt

Germany has made its final debt payment for World War I, 92 years after the end of the Great War.

The last bond issued for repaying the remaining war debt was a $94 million installment which matured Oct 3, 2010, according to the German government.

In 1919, the Treaty at Versailles placed sole responsibility for the war on Germany and required it to pay reparations for all damage related to what became known as World War I.

As Reuters reported, the sum was set in 1921 at $10.4 billion, an enormous figure for the time.

Although there were efforts to restructure and reduce the war debt, it ultimately fueled the resentment that propelled Adolf Hitler into power.

Under Hitler, Germany stopped paying reparations. But, the Western Allies worked out a new debt payment plan after World War II.

I wonder if the United States got any of this money?

Reminder to pray for fighting men, women

Remember to say a prayer for all our troops, and also remember that we are the land of the free because of the brave.

For information on these programs and/or other veterans’ benefits, call or stop in the Moffat County Veterans Service Office at 480 Barclay St., west of the Bank of Colorado parking lot.

Call 824-3246 or use the fax at 824-7108. Our e-mail address is veterans@moffatcounty.net.

The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Other times can be arranged by appointment only.

Bring a copy of your separation papers (DD-214) for application for VA programs and for filing at our office.

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