AUSN

FALL-WINTER 2017

Navy magazine is distributed on Capitol Hill,the Pentagon and naval bases around the world. It provides information that impacts Sailors, their families and the Navy. Navy is published quarterly by the Association of the United States Navy (AUSN).

Issue link: http://digital.ausn.org/i/923168

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SECNAV Retiree Council Legislative Affairs 9 Association of the United States Navy Congressional offices to discuss the Blue Water Navy Act, Mefloquine Toxicity, Gulf War Illness, and Burn Pit compen- sation for Veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. AUSN has been fighting for the drug Mefloquine (Larium) to be removed from the DoD's use; it is an anti-malaria drug that is given to servicemembers who are expected to deploy in areas at risk for malaria. is drug, however was "black boxed" in 2013 by the United States Food and Drug Administra- tion (USFDA) due to the serious risk of mental illness, depression, and suicide. However, DoD continues to give the drug, even though there are two other alternatives to the drug that are much safer for our troops and Sailors. AUSN with SECNAV and on the Hill During the year, the team has conducted 133 meet- ings on Capitol Hill, including key staffers from: the House and Senate Committees on Veteran Affairs, the House and Senate Committees on Armed Services, and all freshmen Congress members. In March, AUSN testi- fied before a Joint Session of the House and Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, and briefed our legislative agenda and AUSN's vision of the Choice Program. We have also met the Secretary of the Navy, Richard Spencer, on Capitol Hill and at the Navy Memorial Fantail breakfast. AUSN has also been helping provide feedback on the future of burial at Arlington National Cemetery as representa- tives on the Honor Committee. In 2017, we have tracked more than 233 pieces of legislation; seven have been signed into law, including the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act and critical legislation that extended the VA Choice Program. AUSN will continue to keep track of pending legislation, in addition to any new bills that emerge that will support our Sailors and Veterans! Michael J. Little, ABH2(AW/SW), USN (IRR) is AUSN's Legislative Director. In 2017, we have been tracking more than 233 pieces of legislation; seven have been signed into law, including the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act and critical legislation that extended the VA Choice Program. AUSN was proud to brief the Secretary of the Navy's Retiree Council for the 5th year in a row. The Council is responsible for briefing the SECNAV on issues affecting current and former Sailors. This year, AUSN talked to the council about the rising need for the VA to take action on issues facing our Navy Veterans who are suffering the consequences of Toxic Exposures. The Council was briefed on the issues of Blue Water Navy (Agent Orange exposure), Gulf War Illness, Mefloquine Toxicity (Malaria Vaccine), and Burn Pits (Middle East conflicts)... and what AUSN has done to keep these issues adversely affecting our Veterans alive in Congress. AUSN also spoke about the rising problems that Sailors are facing with the IDES (Integrated Disability Evaluation System). The brief was well received from the members and feedback has been coming in from the Council wanting more details. The Council's Chief of Staff CAPT (Ret.) Marty Menez is a member of AUSN as well as ISCS (Ret.) Jon Altmann. After the brief, we were pleased to welcome a third member from the council to AUSN's membership roster.

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