“It turned darker than midnight.” On the morning of May 18, 1980, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake shook Mt. St. Helens, causing an eruption of hot smoke and ash to shoot 80,000 feet into the air over the southwestern part of Washington state.   Pete Holmberg, a former aeroscout in a cavalry unit in... Read more
It goes without saying that speedy and ongoing access to mental health care is extremely important for military members and veterans. Often, mental-health illness is overlooked or hushed away. In light of May as Mental Health Awareness Month, we’ve detailed some mental-health initiatives. Suicide... Read more
“My VA is about keeping veterans at the table: In control of how, when and where they wish to be served.” - VA Secretary Robert McDonald “My VA” is how Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald described his ideal standard of care when speaking today about his vision for an... Read more
  I was in the room Wednesday as Defense Secretary Ash Carter revealed his plan to reform the structure of the military at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank in Washington, D.C. In his talk, “Breaking New Ground: Preparing the DOD for the Future,” Carter said it was... Read more
By Heather Bennett and Aaron Wood (EDITOR’S NOTE: 1st Lt. Heather Bennett of the Mississippi National Guard and 1st Lt. Aaron Wood of the West Virginia National Guard are participating in the NGAUS Fellows Program. They will spend this year on the NGAUS staff for a close look at the federal... Read more
Imagine pulling up to your local pharmacy as you do every month to pick up your prescription. However, this time the pharmacist informs you that TRICARE says you are not currently covered. Amidst your frustrations, you quickly call TRICARE only for them to ask one simple question: “Has your duty... Read more
  NGAUS had the privledge of participating in a VSO Roundtable hosted by Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Tim Walz this week.  NGAUS indicated its strong support for the following bills: S.715 (Senator Donnelly) THE SERVICEMEMBERS AND VETERAN’S MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDER ASSESSMENT ACT, ... Read more
A story in Tuesday's Washington Report newsletter began with a sobering fact. "Fifty-six National Guard members took their own lives during the first six months of 2015, according to the Pentagon's Quarterly Suicide Report. At the same time one year ago, the figure was 42." The report was released... Read more
Our United States Air Force has been continuously engaged in combat operations for over two decades. These operations persist today and will continue for the foreseeable future.  While our tempo remains high, our budget continues to shrink. Current fiscal realities and a new generation of American... Read more
  2015 has seen a myriad of bills and amendments that affect our nation's veterans. Congress has introduced and passed many bills that not only address challenges within the Veterans Administration, but also focus on increased services and benefits. Although one of NGAUS' highest priorities was to... Read more