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SGT. SHAFT: Divorced wife of vet to continue getting retirement pay

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dear Sgt Shaft:

I divorced my husband after 22 years. I was awarded 40 percent of his retirement pay. My question to you is: Will this stop if I remarry? I do not get any other military benefits.

Thank you.

M.S.
Via the Internet

Dear M.S.:

A former spouse's remarriage does not alter the divorce decree in the eyes of the military. Therefore your share of military retired pay will continue uninterrupted.

Shaft notes

• The Sarge is looking forward to joining the Blinded American Veterans Foundation (BAVF) and their invited guests Sunday, June 12, at its Flag Day picnic in Silver Spring, where veterans' champion, Clarence Bacon, will be recognized. Among his many accomplishments, this Navy veteran was elected National Commander of the American Legion at the closing session of the 67th Annual National Convention at Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1984.

He is a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. He served aboard two presidential yachts, U.S.S. Potomac (AG 25) and U.S.S. Williamsburg (AGC 369), under Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman. Following his honorable discharge from active duty in 1951, he attended college in Washington, D.C., under the "G.I. Bill" and received bachelor's degrees in business administration (management) and in accounting. His graduate work has been in the fields of international economics and computer sciences. He attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1964-1965.

In 1953, Mr. Bacon joined the Navy Department as a mid-level manager. Prior to his retirement in 1980, he served as Deputy Director of the Navy's worldwide-automated business/logistics systems for more than 15 years. He is currently the owner/operator of C.M. Bacon Associates, a consulting firm.

Mr. Bacon served as Maryland State Director of Veterans Affairs on the staffs of Governors Harry R. Hughes and William Donald Schaefer from September 1986 through March 1993. In 1999, in recognition for his many years of voluntary service to the community, state and nation, Mr. Bacon was honored as the 13th Annual Recipient of the prestigious AMVETS Department of Maryland Free State Award of Excellence.

The foundation's annual Flag Day Picnic attracts political figures, area civic leaders, veterans' service organization representatives, and the BAVF "family" of disabled and visually impaired veterans. Flags that were flown over the U.S. Capitol will be presented to many guests.

As always, the picnic's famous hot dogs will be prepared and served by the gregarious Chef Lakis, a longtime Washington, D.C., fixture who has since retired from his cart at the northeast corner of 18th and K streets in Northwest. Once again, picnic guests will be serenaded with oldies but goodies (Hawaiian style) music.

The Sarge is also looking forward to attending the 26th Annual BAVF Congressional Awards Reception on Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in 345 Cannon House Office Building (Caucus Room) Washington, D.C. The recipients of the BAVF's George "Buck" Gillispie Congressional Awards are Congressman Jeff Miller, Florida, and Congressman Phil Roe, Tennessee. Special Recognition Congressman will be given to Bob Filner, California. The Carlton Sherwood Media Awards will be presented to Maria Stainer, The Washington Times; and David H. Hugel, a freelance writer. The George Alexander Memorial Volunteer Awards will be presented to Col. Marvin J. Harris, Military Officers Association of America; and Aaron Smith, veterans' advocate. The Corporate Volunteer Award will be presented to the VA Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Once again invitees will experience the Military District of Washington joint services Honor Guard as they proudly present the colors while the Marine Corps Brass Quintet fills the hall with patriotic music. Special recognition will also be given to Mr. Filner, ranking member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

• World War II's famed Band of Brothers were recognized and saluted on Thursday, May 19th, by a special panel discussion hosted by the Honorable Tom Ridge, former Secretary of Homeland Security. The event, was sponsored by the World War II Foundation, and was held at the historic Women In Military Service For America Memorial, at the gateway to Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va. Activities began at 6:30 p.m. with a special VIP reception for the veterans and guests, with the panel discussion following at 7:35 p.m. Several of the original Easy Company veterans and many of the actors who portrayed them in the HBO series were in attendance and participated on the panel. Honored guests also included warriors from the Wounded Warrior Project and representatives of the USO.

The World War II Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization and proceeds raised from this special evening program will benefit the Richard Winters Leadership project in Normandy, France, as well as the development of a new leadership documentary focusing on the combat leadership skills of the legendary commander of the Men of Easy Company, the late Major Dick Winters.

• The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced another successful charitable giving drive by the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), the world's largest workplace giving campaign. Despite a very tough economic year in 2010 and a drop in charitable giving across the country, Federal civilian, military and postal employees pledged more than $281.5 million to the CFC. The amount raised was the second highest in the CFC's 50-year history and only less than half a percent below the record set in 2009 of $282.6 million.

"The CFC has been a source of food, of warmth, of light, of medicine, of schoolbooks — a source of life. For countless Americans and people in need around the world, it has been like bedrock — supporting them, even if they don't know it's there," OPM Director John Berry said. "Our charities make sure the money is well spent, and that our donors can see the good they're doing — whether it's for the community center down the block, or a child halfway around the world."

The campaigns with the largest increase in pledges will be recognized by OPM in a ceremony at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building this summer.

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

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