By Bancroft McKittrick

Those of you who are waiting for spring to arrive must wait a little longer as the winter weather we did not have has suddenly appeared.  However, springtime activities are in full swing in your New Hampshire Chapter of TROA as the BOD works on a variety of issues that impact our membership.

The first is Concurrent Receipt.  The House Budget Committee included more than half a billion dollars in its draft of the FY 2003 Budget Resolution as an initial down payment toward eventually ending the dollar for dollar offset of military retired pay for VA disability compensation.  This is the first time money has been allocated for this purpose.  The Senate Budget Committee drafted its own version of the Budget Resolution, and followed the House’s lead on Concurrent Receipt funding.  The Senate Budget Committee’s action, on top of that already taken by the House, virtually assures that some real progress will be made in FY 2003.  If a full Concurrent Receipt amendment is then offered on the Senate floor and is approved, House and Senate Budget negotiators would then have to decide between the proposed partial and full funding budget provisions, or some further compromise.  Then it will be up to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to translate the Budget Resolution’s Concurrent Receipt funding allocation (at least $6 billion over five years, and perhaps more depending on Senate floor action) into specific legislative authority in the FY2003 Defense Authorization Act.  That said, we still need to keep the pressure on our Senators and Congressmen, so please continue to write, e-mail and otherwise notify them that you expect their full support for passing and funding Concurrent Receipt.

The second is TROA-National’s annual “Storming the Hill.”  TROA-National is gearing up to hold the Council Presidents’ Seminar 10-12 April 2002 in Washington, DC.  The highlight of the seminar is “Storming the Hill” on Thursday, 11 April. On that day all seminar attendees visit their Senators and Congressmen

legislation.  For example, this year the number #1 issue is passing and funding Concurrent Receipt.  Your chapter representative to this year’s seminar is Vice-President Paul Bernard.

The third is the other TROA Legislative Goals for 2002, as follows:

- Military Pay Comparability

- Long Term Health Care

- COLA’s and Military Retired Pay

- Raise SBP Age-62 Annuity

- Flag Anti-Desecration Amendment

- Protect the Commissary Benefit

- Arlington Cemetery Burial Rules

Vice-President Bernard will push support for these issues during his “Storming the Hill” visits as well and our chapter National Legislative representative, Dick Denis and State Legislative representative, John Graham continue to lobby our national and state representatives for their support on these issues.

Last, our second Luncheon Meeting of the year at Yoken’s Conference Center in Portsmouth was a resounding success.  Mr. Tom Cocchiaro, founder and chair  of The Ranger Foundation, Inc. presented an informative historical presentation on the revolutionary war hero, John Paul Jones and The Ranger Foundation’s project to build a new tall ship Ranger within sight of its original berth place across the Piscataqua River from Portsmouth.  A stimulating and interesting presentation, an excellent lunch and a superb turnout of over 200 contributed to a successful day.  Your Program Committee Chairman, Mike McLean continues to do an outstanding job, as evidenced by luncheon turnouts consistently drawing between 200 and 250 attendees.  Please join us at our May luncheon; an announcement will be out shortly.

As we progress through the year, I look forward to working with you to continue to build on our success and to proudly serve in out TROA-NH Chapter. 

Semper fi

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