- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dear Sgt Shaft,

I was medically retired with less than 20 years due to wounds received in combat. I receive 100 percent VA compensation. From what I read in HR 2647 I should receive full concurrent receipt as of 01/01/2010. As of this date I have not received full payment. When can I expect to receive this payment? Thanks for your help. — Bob M., via the Internet

Dear Bob,

According to my sources, since your disabilities and subsequent retirement were caused by combat, you should apply for Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) from your service’s CRSC Board. Since you are Army you need to use DD Form 2860, the application for CRSC, and send it to the Army CRSC board. Here is their web site: www.hrc.army.mil/site/crsc/index.html

If the Army CRSC Board approves your application, your CRSC payments should begin immediately, with retroactive payments possible.

In the case of Marines, they should send their applications to the Navy/MC Board. Here is their web site: www.donhq.navy.mil/corb/crscb/crscmainpage.htm

ASYMCA gala

The Sarge was honored to attend the recent Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) meeting that saluted military men and women who administer life-saving medical treatment to our troops on the front lines at the 4th Annual Angels of the Battlefield Gala.

ASYMCA worked with the military services to select corpsmen and medics from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Navy Reserve and Air Force Reserve, who represented their respective services and received awards on behalf of their fellow corpsmen and medics for their dedication and commitment to service.

“Our medical services personnel are responsible for providing first aid and frontline trauma care on the battlefield. They are the wounded warrior’s best friend, the calming presence in the fury of a firefight, the first to respond to pain and tragedy,” said retired Air Force Gen. Eugene Habiger, chairman of the National Board of Directors of the ASYMCA. “These heroes — these angels — are the first to turn back, to risk their own lives for the sake of others, and we recognize them for their service, their dedication, their sacrifices and their bravery.”

The following service members received awards on behalf of their fellow corpsmen and medics:

• Staff Sgt. Gustavo Rodriguez, Army, from Edgewood, Md.

• Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Luis S. Fonseca Jr., Navy, from Fayetteville, N.C.

• Staff Sgt. Rykeshia Haywood, Air Force, from Baltimore

• Helicopter Squadron 2 Erica Aberle, Coast Guard, from Brooklin, Maine

• Staff Sgt. Frances A. Hinton, Army Guard, from Rapid City, S.D.

• Sgt. First Class Nathaniel Parsons, Army Reserve, from San Antonio, Texas

• Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Chris Ehrman, Navy Reserve, from Meridian, Idaho

• Chief Master Sgt. Robert A. Poisson, Air Force Reserve, from Fort Worth, Texas

In addition to delivering the keynote speech, Adm. Roughead also presided over the re-enlistment ceremony for Petty Officers Second Class Luis and Maria Fonseca from Fayetteville, N.C. The more than 300 attendees at the annual event included members of Congress, high-ranking officials from the Department of Defense and high-profile members of the media.

AMVETS award

The Sarge is looking forward to joining AMVETS, Department of Maryland, when it presents its annual prestigious “PNC A. Leo Anderson Memorial Free State Award of Excellence” to Brig. Gen. James A. Adkins, Adjutant General of Maryland, at a ceremony on April 10 at the Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City, Maryland.

The award honors Gen. Adkins’ 30-plus years of advocating for veterans’ benefits and for those of their family members. The ceremony will be attended by distinguished leaders of AMVETS, other veteran service organizations from throughout the state, as well as State of Maryland elected officials.

The PNC A. Leo Anderson Memorial Free State Award of Excellence was first awarded in 1987 and has been awarded annually since that time.

A few former honorees include: Maryland Govs. William Donald Schaeffer and Robert Ehrlich, Jr.; U.S. House of Representatives members Beverly Byron and Helen Bentley; Maryland State Comptroller Louis Goldstein; AMVETS past National Commander A. Leo Anderson; American Legion past National Commander Clarence M. Bacon; and the Director of the Baltimore VAMC Dennis Smith.

Gen. Adkins’ career spans more than 30 years in both the enlisted and officer ranks. He has served at nearly every level of command and in various staff assignments. He is a graduate of the Defense Language Institute (Russian language program) in Monterey, Calif. He served in Intelligence, Infantry and Calvary assignments in the United States and abroad. His military assignments also included Director of Military Support to Civil Authorities, Counter-drug Task Force Commander and Coordinator of Emergency Management Operations. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he assisted the Republic of Estonia in its transition to democracy.

Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, DC 20035-5900; fax: 301/622-3330; call: 202/257-5446; or e-mail sgtshaft@bavf.org.