Retiree Activities Office column: week of Apr. 29 - May 6|
by Retiree Activities Office Staff
4/26/2011 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- Many Receive VA Insurance Dividends
More than 820,000 veterans with service before 1956 who have maintained their government life insurance policies will share $240 million in annual dividends this year. No application to the Department of Veterans Affairs is necessary. Payments will continue throughout the year on the anniversary date of the policy. Amounts vary on age, type of insurance and length of time the policy has been in force. Dividends are linked to returns on investments in securities.
World War II Veterans holding National Service Life Insurance ("V") policies, which comprise the largest group receiving 2011 insurance dividend payments, will receive total payments of $176.8 million. World War II-era veterans with Veterans Reopened Insurance ("J", "JR" and "JS") policies will receive dividends totaling $5.8 million.
Korean War-era veterans who have maintained Veterans Special Life Insurance ("RS" and "W") policies will receive dividends totaling $57.1 million. Another $425,000 in total dividends will be paid to veterans who served after World War I until 1940 and hold U.S. Government Life Insurance ("K") policies. Eligible veterans receive annual statements from VA on the status of their policies. Veterans who have questions about their policies should contact the VA insurance center at 1-800-669-8477 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.insurance.va.gov.
Suicide Hotline Helps
VA's suicide prevention hotline, 1-800-273-8255, was established in 2007. It is credited with saving more than 10,000 veterans and providing counsel for more than 180,000 veterans and their loved ones. The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by trained mental health professionals prepared to deal with immediate crises. The hotline also offers an anonymous online chat feature at www.suicidepreventionhotline.org.
VA officials have marketed the service through mass transit campaigns, increasing the number of calls and lives saved with each city the campaign has reached. They are partnering with representatives a transit advertising company that specializes in helping business and government tell their stories through transit advertising media, such as buses, bus shelters, benches, subways, trains, airports, billboards and more.
According to AF.mil, The Honorable James Roy, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, asks that the Air Force family make a difference in the lives of their fellow airmen and reverse the "devastating trend" of rising suicide rates.
"We've had a drastic increase in the number of suicides among our total force airmen," said The Honorable Chief Roy. "Even one suicide is too many! We need to look out for each other...that's what good wingmen do, and that's what our Air Force needs."
New Home Soon for NPRC
The National Archives and Records Administration's National Personnel Records
Center (NPRC) is slated to relocate more than 100 million records to a new $112 million modernized facility in St. Louis this summer. The new location will store approximately 2.3 million cubic feet of records which are currently housed at three different St. Louis area facilities. Records will be housed in climate-controlled stack areas designed for long-term preservation. The facility will also offer new research rooms, meeting rooms equipped with the latest video-conferencing technology and tenant office space for other area federal agencies.
Many records currently are stored in a facility that was ravaged by fire in 1973. An estimated 16 to 18 million individual military personnel records were destroyed. Lost records included those of Army personnel discharged between Nov. 1, 1912 and Dec. 31, 1959, and Air Force personnel discharged between Sept. 25, 1947 and Dec. 31, 1963 with names alphabetically following "Hubbard, James." Some records salvaged from the disaster have been stored in a climate-controlled area. Preservation technicians treat the records for mold and delicately piece together whatever they can save. They have retrieved valuable information in reconstructing portions of a service member's personnel file. The Preservation Branch also treats several thousand records that were exposed to harmful rays of the sun and other contaminants that shorten a record's life span.
The Retiree Activities Office is open from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Visit our office in room A-200A, 1535 Command Drive, call us at 301-981-2726, or e-mail us at email@example.com. Calling the office prior to visiting is recommended to ensure someone is on duty. The RAO also has a website at www.andrews.af.mil, click on ''Retirees" on the right side of the page. There you will find a wealth of information that might be of interest to you. Copies of ''Retiree Activities Corner" articles are online as well. Go to the retirees webpage and find information under the heading ''Newspaper Column."