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Old 07-20-2018, 02:58 AM   #121
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Originally Posted by namusmc View Post
If staying at an Air Force base, be prepared for a lot of jet engine noise.

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Old 07-20-2018, 07:32 AM   #122
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There are a HUGE amount more, a heck of a lot more than a FEW. Hundreds of thousands more. But i will quit this dialogue. I have my opinion and it differs from yours. But i will say, thank you for your service.
Folks forget you can be judged partially disabled (10%) by showing hearing loss or ringing in the ears after having served in a "noisy environment" or medically documented unprotected exposure to a loud noise.

While this is "Non-Compensable" (meaning no VA pension), it will qualify you for the VA ID card. NOW, that card does not grant you base access (currently only 100% will do that). If the bill passes, it will.

I can't think of many career fields who served who would not qualify.

As Jim stated, perhaps several hundred thousand (or more) former service personnel who currently can not utilize MWR facilities, will be able to.

This bill will most likely not pass because it will swamp an MWR system incapable of absorbing that much traffic.

If it does, a possible unintended consequence might be the closure of military base MWR facilities to folks without base access IDs (Green/Red/Gray/CAC military ID).
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Old 07-20-2018, 07:45 AM   #123
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Interesting. Not sure it would be worthwhile to enter a military base to use exchange/commissary or mwr facility. Look foreword to seeing how it works out.
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Agreed! My Mother has privileges since my father was retired from the Army. I've been on JBLM (Joint Base Lewis McChord) with her and have gone to both the commissary and post exchange. I can shop off base/post and find the same items for the same, if not cheaper, price. It's not the bargain it once was.
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:27 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by Herk7769 View Post
Folks forget you can be judged partially disabled (10%) by showing hearing loss or ringing in the ears after having served in a "noisy environment" or medically documented unprotected exposure to a loud noise.

While this is "Non-Compensable" (meaning no VA pension), it will qualify you for the VA ID card. NOW, that card does not grant you base access (currently only 100% will do that). If the bill passes, it will.

I can't think of many career fields who served who would not qualify.

As Jim stated, perhaps several hundred thousand (or more) former service personnel who currently can not utilize MWR facilities, will be able to.

This bill will most likely not pass because it will swamp an MWR system incapable of absorbing that much traffic.

If it does, a possible unintended consequence might be the closure of military base MWR facilities to folks without base access IDs (Green/Red/Gray/CAC military ID).
Thanks Lou. You said it much more succinctly and clearly than I could. You have to draw the line somewhere....or the system fails.
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:59 AM   #125
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I suspect your fears are unfounded. Per the link,

"In 2017, the Secretary of Defense determined that the addition of new patron categories to the commissary and exchange systems would support the growth of a robust customer base..."

First, this sounds to me like their customer base has been dropping and they're trying to get it back up.

Second, I'd guess that many (most?) vets don't live that close to a military base (I know I don't). Are you going to drive 100 miles or more to get a "deal?" And as mentioned, the "deals" aren't so hot anymore anyway. Frankly, I never really thought the "deals" were very good 45 years ago.
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Old 07-20-2018, 11:05 AM   #126
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Add another million vets to who can go and you might as well open it up to anyone. Not all vets can get on base or go to the commissary or exchange either. Same logic.

The exchanges/pxs are available to all veterans online now. I don't see much advantage to shopping the exchanges except for maybe some taxes. As for the mwr campgrounds I can't say much. I've only stayed at two of them. And neither were what I would call over used. I was sponsored by my daughter when she was in the Navy. As for easily getting a VA disability that has become somewhat more difficult. I'm at 10% for tinnitus (too much time around guns and high frequency radar rooms). I mostly stay at COE campgrounds but recently was on the east coast where those are few and far between. There are more MWR campgrounds on the east coast near where I was staying so they would have been a nice option. I don't see this as a problem of filling up the MWR campgrounds but rather as a way to create some additional revenue for those under used facilities.
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Old 07-20-2018, 11:25 AM   #127
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Well for me after more than a dozen years active duty, a little argument with a scud missile, multiple tours in combat, being an old school STRAF MP who actually experienced dozens of deaths on the job it finally ate me up.

I can set up my TT in less than 10 minutes (mine is an Ice House so it sets on the ground)

Anyway after 3 suicide attempts myself I got the PTSD treatment I needed. It took me about 3 times attending various VA programs the last one after I broke my own neck.

I advocate for other vets to the best of my ability. I was living in my car for years as I prefer not to be around civilians. I am also retired from the US Dept of Justice.

So I am unsure what your post was supposed to mean.

But I figured I would share my story with you. It is the dreams that kick my ass. Both stateside murders, car accidents, seing my troops blown up etc.

In the early days we vets were taught not to speak of our weakness. Well after multiple self life attempts I learned to speak of such or I would be dead.

PS to any vets out there the Crisis Line Works 800-273-8255 Veterans Press 1

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Tony, Thank you for your service brother. I appreciate you very much!

I just lost a very good Army Buddy to Suicide. He left behind an adoring wife and 3 beautiful little boys. It is heartbreaking and tragic.

I have become a member of "Mission 22" since his passing. I am trying to make this tragedy in to something positive.

You are a hero Tony. You mean the world to me and numerous others.
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:06 PM   #128
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Tony, Thank you for your service brother. I appreciate you very much!

I just lost a very good Army Buddy to Suicide. He left behind an adoring wife and 3 beautiful little boys. It is heartbreaking and tragic.

I have become a member of "Mission 22" since his passing. I am trying to make this tragedy in to something positive.

You are a hero Tony. You mean the world to me and numerous others.

I don't accept the title hero easily. I don't feel that I did more than those before or after my time in service have done who are far more deserving of the title. I have dealt with the PTSD things in a different way. My son was pretty messed up when he got back from Iraq. Crowds would often set off things. It got so bad we didn't go to the auto or motorcycle shows, something we both really enjoyed before. He would drive down the middle of the street here because of the possibility of IEDs. Over time I've gotten to recognize when he may be getting close to having a problem and can now move him out of a crowd. We have started going back to the motorcycle show and he has gotten better. He had some issues with drinking as well but we have worked through them. He is a great father to his two year old daughter and every thing is about her. He has started his own mechanics shop in town and is doing pretty well with it. There is light at the end of the tunnel. It may be a long or a short tunnel depending on how much support a person has. As veterans I suggest very strongly that we join any of the organizations (VFW,American Legion, and others) available. The one my son and I are part of is one of the most active in our state. It's not a bunch of old guys sitting around a dark bar telling war stories. Our VFW is very involved with the local community and local veterans shelter and VA hospital. I too have friends who I served with and other veterans I know. I make a point of contacting them and simply asking if they are OK. Sometimes we'll talk on the phone for extended periods or chat online. We are planning on meeting up next summer at a campground kind of in the middle of where we all live so no one has to travel too far. I also sometimes don't know how to answer to "Thanks you for your service" as I feel I was just doing what many before and after me have done. You sir have done more and suffered more than most for your service. Coming from a line of family that have put service ahead of other things I can understand the sacrifice. Should our paths cross somewhere in this country the first one is on me.
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Old 07-20-2018, 02:38 PM   #129
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I'm retired USAF so I utilize the military campgrounds when available. I'm also 40% disabled. The VA centers have Exchange shops in them so there is an option for many.
Many of the southern campgrounds are booked with "Snowbirds" in the winter months and it is hard to even get an overnight spot. I have found that many have a designated overflow area to stay in though not all. I'm on the fence as to allowing nonretirees to utilize the military campgrounds.
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Old 07-20-2018, 03:08 PM   #130
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This bill would not open these facilities to every veteran. It is still a limited number. I can also say with certainty that not all veterans have made VA claims. Many like myself did not even know that we could. I complained forever to my wife and kids about the ringing in my ears. When my kids completed their time in the service they were after me about my hearing. They kept telling me I should file a claim with the VA. This after having been out for more than 25 years. I filed a claim and was scheduled for a hearing test and was listed as 10% disabled for tinnitus. I still hadn't enrolled in the VA healthcare system until a few years later when I had a heart scare. I went online and filled out the form figuring they would tell me that I make too much money and already have insurance through my employer. I got a phone call a few weeks later wanting to set up my initial appointment with a VA doctor. I figured they would catch the mistake then because I had to be early so they could again verify everything. Once they again verified things I was told to go to my appointment. I've been using the VA healthcare system since. If I didn't know I could file a claim how many others out there are in the same position? Now though they run the kids through as part of the process for exiting the service. 40 years ago they handed you a DD214 and said good luck. I know that this is something many retired military use and I have met some in the campgrounds I stayed at (twice). I stayed at one near Charleston SC (Moncks Corner) for three days over a July 4th weekend to visit my daughter at nuke school and another time at Ft. Story near Virginia Beach for a week. Both places were not crowded and were great facilities. I don't think that opening this up to others will cause these to become overwhelmed with patrons.
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:49 PM   #131
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I'm retired USAF so I utilize the military campgrounds when available. I'm also 40% disabled. The VA centers have Exchange shops in them so there is an option for many.
Many of the southern campgrounds are booked with "Snowbirds" in the winter months and it is hard to even get an overnight spot. I have found that many have a designated overflow area to stay in though not all. I'm on the fence as to allowing nonretirees to utilize the military campgrounds.

That's been my experience with famcamps. Opening them up to hundreds of thousands more people will ensure that a lot more people will be turned away. The only way to deal with it will be to go back to a tiered system where active duty and currently serving Reserve/Guard have first dibs, retired next and others after that.
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Old 07-20-2018, 10:03 PM   #132
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Sorry, I still don't get your logic. Anyone who could go before can still go. Now a few more can go.

Not me; I was just a swabbie. I don't have a Purple Heart, a Medal of Honor, I'm not a POW, and I don't have a service-connected disability.

All of whom, IMHO, certainly deserve a break like this.


I strongly agree Iím a vet I donít qualify but anybody who meets the above should have already been qualified
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Old 07-20-2018, 10:26 PM   #133
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That's been my experience with famcamps. Opening them up to hundreds of thousands more people will ensure that a lot more people will be turned away. The only way to deal with it will be to go back to a tiered system where active duty and currently serving Reserve/Guard have first dibs, retired next and others after that.


So you saying if I got shot serving my country but recovered I donít deserve to stay at a campground because I didnít retire from the military. I have worked in public service 22 years most my adult life from USAF to law enforcement and now education. The military is the only one that has facilities to use so let those who got hurt or showed honor and valor while serving enjoy. Itís the least we can do
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Old 07-21-2018, 01:27 AM   #134
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Folks forget you can be judged partially disabled (10%) by showing hearing loss or ringing in the ears after having served in a "noisy environment" or medically documented unprotected exposure to a loud noise.

While this is "Non-Compensable" (meaning no VA pension), it will qualify you for the VA ID card. NOW, that card does not grant you base access (currently only 100% will do that). If the bill passes, it will.

I can't think of many career fields who served who would not qualify.

As Jim stated, perhaps several hundred thousand (or more) former service personnel who currently can not utilize MWR facilities, will be able to.

This bill will most likely not pass because it will swamp an MWR system incapable of absorbing that much traffic.

If it does, a possible unintended consequence might be the closure of military base MWR facilities to folks without base access IDs (Green/Red/Gray/CAC military ID).

you forgot BLUE
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Old 07-22-2018, 12:47 AM   #135
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That's been my experience with famcamps. Opening them up to hundreds of thousands more people will ensure that a lot more people will be turned away. The only way to deal with it will be to go back to a tiered system where active duty and currently serving Reserve/Guard have first dibs, retired next and others after that.
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So you saying if I got shot serving my country but recovered I donít deserve to stay at a campground because I didnít retire from the military. I have worked in public service 22 years most my adult life from USAF to law enforcement and now education. The military is the only one that has facilities to use so let those who got hurt or showed honor and valor while serving enjoy. Itís the least we can do

I never said you don't deserve to stay at a famcamp, I said it would need to go back to being a tiered system.
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Old 07-22-2018, 08:03 AM   #136
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In my experience active duty have always had preference and as a retiree I have never had a problem getting a reservation at any military site when the reservation window opened 6 months in advance of my desired dates(except Key West). This might change if this new law is passed but I suspect not. Not everyone is a camper.
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Old 07-22-2018, 03:44 PM   #137
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you forgot BLUE
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Old 07-22-2018, 11:44 PM   #138
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I never said you don't deserve to stay at a famcamp, I said it would need to go back to being a tiered system.


Yes with Purple Heart and Medal of Honor towards the lower tier I was never wounded but the 100,000 people invading the campground is hyperbole while some campgrounds might be overbooked most probably wouldnít see a noticeable difference
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Old 07-22-2018, 11:55 PM   #139
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We stopped at Patrick AFB in March. They had openings the day before we got there. First time since Dec according to a friend. MacDill (Tampa), FL has 400+ site FamCamp and they book up solid during the winter snowbird season. Tyndall FamCamp is expanding this year an additional (I think) 80 sites. Most of the FamCamps don't do reservations firtst come first served.
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Old 07-23-2018, 07:03 AM   #140
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Yes with Purple Heart and Medal of Honor towards the lower tier I was never wounded but the 100,000 people invading the campground is hyperbole while some campgrounds might be overbooked most probably wouldn’t see a noticeable difference
We were talking about the number of additional potential users.

Obviously, actual demand would vary by base and season. Florida bases in mid summer are quite underutilized while in winter the overflow areas are packed and can't support the current demand; let alone additional.

"most probably wouldn’t see a noticeable difference" is true only because most are currently completely utilized most times of the year. It does not matter a wit if you are number one on the wait list or number 1,000 on the wait list if you need to be back at work on Monday.
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