MilitaryTimes — HASC panel to focus on military health care * December 11, 2015
During a forum hosted by the NMFA last month, HASC lawmakers and staff said that the structure of military hospitals, clinics and Tricare “isn’t working,” according to HASC professional staff member Jeannette James. “We must maintain the military health system so it can sustain our service members for their readiness, and we also need to make sure our families’ benefits remain intact,” James said.
MilitaryTimes — Medical readiness, access are top health reform priorities, advocates say * December 6, 2015
Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee personnel panel, military organization representatives said the top complaint they receive about the military health system, including Tricare, is patients' inability to make appointments, mainly at military hospitals and clinics. National Military Family Association executive director Joyce Raezer said reform must fix the long-standing wait time issue and also "change a culture at military hospitals that says it is OK to tell military families with sick children they must call back the next day or go to the emergency room for care.”
Stars and Stripes — After 'death spiral’ warning, Tricare reform begins on Capitol Hill * December 3, 2015
The National Military Family Association told House lawmakers that it also supports major reforms because its members are frustrated by lack of access to health care as well as a patchwork of military rules that change between services and bases and often create barriers for families trying to get treatment. In one instance, a military spouse who was 28 weeks pregnant moved to a new base with all of her medical records but was told she had to take a pregnancy test before being treated, said Joyce Raezer, the group’s executive director.
Stars and Stripes — Congress, beneficiary groups prepare for health reforms * November 25, 2015
The House committee has held a roundtable discussion with the military surgeons general and informal talks with beneficiary organizations. National Military Family Association sponsored a panel discussion on Capitol Hill this month where Thornberry made opening remarks.
WKOW — Harley-Davidson creates tribute motorcycle for USS Milwaukee * November 23, 2015
To celebrate the spirit of her namesake city, Lockheed Martin has partnered with Harley-Davidson to design a one-of-a-kind motorcycle to honor the U.S. Navy. The program is part of a yearlong campaign to support the National Military Family Association. The campaign will help the organization provide scholarships for military spouses, host camps for kids who have parents serving on long deployments and help families reconnect after their loved one returns home.
SunHerald — Military Update: Carter's 'force of the future' tallies only modest changes * November 21, 2015
"I was disappointed that there weren't more things related to the current military, especially families," said Joyce Wessel Raezer, executive director of the National Military Family Association, after key advocacy groups were briefed on the plans. "The only thing mentioned really family related was (more members) choosing their own reason to take a sabbatical. In terms of the currently serving force, there wasn't a whole lot."
The Cipher Brief — Remembering Military Families * November 10, 2015
As Veterans Day approaches, I find myself thinking about the veterans in my family—three generations. There is my 95-year-old father-in-law, who did his World War II service as an enlisted man in the Army in North Africa, Italy, and France. Next is my husband, whose nearly 40-year Air Force career started during the Vietnam War, continued on through the First Gulf War, and wars in the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He has since retired, but the War on Terror continues. And there is our daughter, who began her Air Force career during the First Gulf War. She served five years on active duty and another 15 as a reservist.
The Cipher Brief — Veterans Day * November 10, 2015
It is impossible to create long-term well-being for the veteran by focusing on the veteran alone. In the National Military Family Association’s survey of families transitioning out of the military, spouses asked for better information to support their veterans, but they also expressed fears about their own identities upon leaving the military. They will wear no insignia or special clothes to identify themselves as veterans’ families, but they need the rest of America to seek them out and help them build a new identity as members and assets in their new communities.
BakersfieldNow — Vet bikes through Bakersfield in cross-country fundraiser * November 4, 2015
"Part of the message I am spreading is that we can do anything we put our minds to, and the bike is just one more display of that," said D'Apice. He started his journey in May and has traveled close to 6,000 miles so far. "I started in New York City, went up to Portland, Maine. From Portland, I came under the lakes and across the country to Seattle, and then from Seattle now I am on my way to San Diego. And then after San Diego, I cross the country again down to Miami, at least, and then work my way up to New York City, where it all started," said D'Apice. He plans on riding 11,000 miles to raise awareness and money for three charities: Pencils of Promise, Connecting Families and National Military Family Association.
WindsorNow — Oil Can Henry's aims to break company record for military family donations by end of October * October 24, 2015
Oil Can Henry’s in northern Colorado will continue a second year of giving to military families, but the 2015 celebration marks a greater commitment from the company. The campaign — dubbed Be a Star to Military Families — is a company-wide initiative to benefit the National Military Family Association. The association is the leading nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of military families. Their Operation Purple Program includes children and family programs that help families through each stage of military deployment.
Military Times — Mission Family: Longtime military family advocate honored * October 19, 2015
One is Meg Falk, who worked for the Navy, and later, for DoD’s family policy office in the Pentagon, before retiring 10 years ago. “We appreciate all you’ve done and the encouragement you still give us to fight the good fight and do the good work,” Joyce Raezer, executive director of the National Military Family Association, told Falk in presenting her with NMFA’s “Support of Military Families Award” Sept. 29.
ABC News 4 — Our Heroes' Tree Donates E-Book Proceeds to Operation Purple Camp for Military Children * October 6, 2015
Operation Purple Camp, a program of the National Military Family Association (NMFA), was selected as this year's beneficiary to recognize the positive impact of military children sharing the camp experience together. NMFA provides scholarships for military children to participate in this unique camp program, held in locations across the country during the summer months. Now celebrating its 11th year, Our Heroes' Tree, co-founded by Stephanie Pickup and Marlene Lee, fosters understanding among military and civilian communities by bringing people together to honor the service, sacrifice, and legacy of U.S. service members and their families.
Military Times — Lawmakers move toward eliminating commissary subsidy * October 2, 2015
But lawmakers forestalled that effort, restoring $281 million in taxpayer dollars to the commissary budget for the new fiscal year. Still, the new requirement — although in the form of a report that must be evaluated before any concrete action is taken — does seem to represent a shift in thinking on Capitol Hill, said Joyce Raezer, executive director of the National Military Family Association. “I think there’s less of a sense of what the benefit is," Raezer said. "DoD’s talk about the benefit being 'the store' is getting some traction. There’s some movement on the benefit being 'the store,' rather than ... 'the savings.' "
HeraldNet — DOD resists push to roll back compound drug rules * October 2, 2015
“We have heard no complaints about access to compound pharmaceuticals” since the new rules took effect, said Karen Ruedisueli, a deputy director at NMFA specializing in health care advocacy. In fact before May, she said, complaints focused on the size of bills charged Tricare. One of her NMFA colleagues also got a prescription for scar fade cream and saw Tricare billed $11,000. Now marketers “have been badgering her and sending her unsolicited refills.”
Military Times — DoD official: Let's talk about 'touchy' commissary issue * September 29, 2015
Defense Department proposals to change the way commissaries operate will not degrade the benefit — and there needs to be more of a conversation about that touchy subject, defense officials said Tuesday. “We’re not going to reduce the benefit,” said Brad Carson, acting under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, at a leadership luncheon of the National Military Family Association.
Stars and Stripes — Military Update | DOD resists Hill push to roll back compound drug rules * September 24, 2015
“We have heard no complaints about access to compound pharmaceuticals” since the new rules took effect, said Karen Ruedisueli, a deputy director at NMFA specializing in healthcare advocacy. In fact before May, she said, complaints focused on the size of bills charged Tricare. One of her NMFA colleagues also got a prescription for scar fade cream and saw Tricare billed $11,000. Now marketers “have been badgering her and sending her unsolicited refills.” NMFA sees the new limits on compound drugs as “reasonable,” Ruedisueli said. One big worry was families with special needs children. But so far they report no problems getting the compound medicines they need.
Belleville News-Democrat — Roger That: U.S. military is experimenting with invisibility technology * September 21, 2015
“The intent seems to be to treat the commissary like a grocery store, and I think that overlooks the fact that that’s not really its mission,” said Eileen Huck, a deputy director of government relations for the National Military Family Association. “Its mission is to provide a non-pay benefit to service members and their families.”
Army TImes — Child care subsidy program moved from GSA * September 10, 2015
In an interview, Eileen Huck, government relations deputy director for the National Military Family Association, offered a word of caution to service officials thinking of making changes to the fee subsidy program. “It’s important for the services to recognize how vital this service is for the families who use it," she said. "Anyone thinking about changing this service needs to be cautious, because it’s critical that military families to be able to afford high-quality child care.”
Military.com — Pentagon Stats Show Rising Rates of US Military Child Abuse, Neglect * September 3, 2015
In addition to the uncertainty about downsizing, lingering effects of war and deployment and readiness [and] stress caused by sequestration and budget cuts, there are also the financial concerns: less money because service members aren't getting the deployment pay, two years of smaller pay raises, increased housing costs, fears over stability of benefits," Joyce Raezer added.
Military Times — DoD's 'Future' vision doesn't overlook families * August 30, 2015
Family advocates are pleased to see that provisions affecting families have been added to the latest drafts of the Defense Department's far-reaching "Force of the Future" plan. “The first iteration of ‘Force of the Future’ didn’t mention families,” said Joyce Raezer, executive director of the National Military Family Association. Raezer said she and others met with Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Brad Carson and brought up the need to include families. “I’m pleased to see they’re including some of that,” she said. "“If you’re talking about the force of the future and looking at future demographics, women and families are an important part of that discussion.”