SGT. SHAFT: Veteran wants to add new wife to TRICARE For Life health care

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Dear Sgt. Shaft:

I would appreciate it if you would answer a question for me. My wife is deceased, and I am wondering how long it will take for my new wife, if I remarry, to come under TRICARE For Life. (TRICARE is the health care program serving uniformed service members, retirees and their families worldwide.)

John R.
Via the Internet

Dear John:

My sources tell me that TRICARE For Life benefits start immediately after the new spouse is registered in Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) while you get her a new military ID card at your nearest ID card office. You should bring your marriage certificate and two forms of ID for each of you.

Shaft notes

Congressman Gus M. Bilirakis, Florida Republican, will host his Seventh Annual Veterans’ Resource Fair on Saturday, June 29, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m at River Ridge High School in New Port Richey, Fla.

The event is a one-stop shop for Florida’s 1.5 million veterans, bringing together 75 veterans organizations to help them navigate and take advantage of the various services they’ve earned as members of our Armed Forces.

“As vice-chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee and co-chairman of the Military Veterans Caucus, I am working to ensure our veterans receive the benefits, care and opportunity they’ve earned,” Mr. Bilirakis said. “This event is just one way to show our appreciation for those who have defended and protected our freedoms.”

At the event, veterans can take advantage of medical and dental care, claims and education benefits assistance, job placement and employment services, and housing and social services. There will also be a special musical performance by Tony Orlando (“Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree”) and a presentation of the colors by AVAST, the nation’s only all-amputee color guard.

For more information, contact Mr. Bilirakis’ office at 813/501-4942 or visit www.bilirakis.house.gov.

• The U.S. Department of Defense recently announced that the California National Guard will be receiving $1 million for the Work for Warriors Program (WFW), which aims to reduce unemployment in the California National Guard by 25 percent.

Established in 2012, the Work for Warriors Program directly places unemployed California National Guard members into jobs by using business contacts from the WFW Business Coordinator and provides details on job openings. WFW staff also identify unemployed CNG candidates that meet specific job requirements and guides the unemployed CNG members through the entire hiring process, including resume preparation, interview and employment acceptance.

In March, Rep. Mark Takano (ranking member — Economic Opportunity Subcommittee) questioned Major Ty Shepard from the California Military Department during a Veterans’ Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee meeting about the Work for Warriors program funding needs:

Mr. Takano: “Would your program, the ‘Work for Warriors’ program, be more effective with additional funding?”

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