"Latest Update from National Headquarters"

July 13, 2018

Legislative Update: NDAA Conference Committee Meeting
The Conferees for the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA-H.R.5515) recently had their first meeting to resolve differences between the House and Senate passed versions of the bill. FRA has submitted a letter to key members of the conference committee expressing opposition to TRICARE fee increase in the Senate bill and several other provisions impacting FRA members. A copy of the letter is available on the FRA website. Senator John McCain (Ariz.), Chairman Senate Armed Services Committee is not participating in conference committee deliberations due to his battle with brain cancer.  Once there is an agreement on the final version it is voted on in the House and Senate. If approved, it will be sent to th e President to be vetoed or signed into law.  

Members are strongly urged to use the FRA Action Center to oppose TRICARE fee increase in Senate bill and to support Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) cap on rent increases in Senate bill. 


SVAC Schedules Hearing on Agent Orange Reform Bill
The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee has scheduled a hearing on the House version of the "Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act" (H.R.299). The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act would extend the presumption of exposure to Agent Orange to veterans who served of the coast of the Republic of Vietnam (Blue Water Navy veterans). 

During the committee markup in the House, the legislation was amended to extend the presumption of herbicide exposure for veterans who served on or near the Korean DMZ between September 1, 1967 and August 31, 1971. As amended, the legislation will now also extend health care, vocational training & rehabilitation and monetary allowance to a child who was born with spina bifida if at least one of the child's parents served in Thailand between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 and the VA determines that at least one of the parents had been exposed to a herbicide agent during that period. The bill also now includes improvements to the VA's home loan program.

Members are strongly urged to the FRA Action Center to urge their Senators to support this legislation.


SVAC Approves VA Secretary Nominee 
Robert Wilkie, President Trump's nominee to serve as Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, was recently approved by the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee. His nomination passed SVAC with only one "No" vote (Senator Bernie Sanders-Vt.). The nomination now goes to the Senate floor to be considered by the full Senate. As Newsbytes goes to press no specific date has been set for the Senate to vote to confirm the nominee. In March 2018, Trump announced Robert Wilkie would serve as the acting secretary, before nominating him to serve as VA Secretary. Previously Wilkie served at the Department of Defense as Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.

Some Disabled Veterans are Owed IRS Refund
As a result of the enactment of FRA-supported legislation (Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act passed in 2016-H.R.5015; P.L. 14-292)  the Internal Revenue Service recently issued notice (IR-2018-148) advising certain veterans who receive disability payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs after January 17, 1991 and reported the payment as income should file an Amended U.S. Individual Income tax Return (Form 1040X) to claim a credit or refund of overpayment of taxes due to VA disability payments. IRS asks beneficiaries submitting Form 1040X to write "Veteran Disability Severance" on the top of the front page of the form. Forms must be submitted by regular mail with a copy of DoD letter informing beneficiary of eligibility of refund to:

   Internal Revenue Service
   333 W. Perishing Street, Stop 6503, P5
   Kansas City, Mo. 64108

This issue was reported in Jan. 24, 2017 Newsbytes and is estimated to impact more than 14,000 veterans.



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PNP William E. Combs
"Sixty Year Of Continous Service"

*National  President*

William E. Starkey

Robert Washington Sr.

~~Click on icon above member'sname for their nomination resolution~~


*National Vice President*

James E. Robbins Jr.

Larry L. Cox

Donna M. Jansky

Michael F. Fulton

~~Click on icon above member'sname for their nomination resolution~~



91st FRA/86th 


Omni Hotel

9821 Colonnade Boulevard
San Antonio, TX 78230


Chairman (FRA) Lawrence “Larry” Boudreaux, PNP
530-677-3925 [email protected]

Co-Chairman (FRA) Virgil P. Courneya, PNP
775-882-9201 [email protected]

Chairman (LA FRA) Pat Boudreaux, PNP
530-677-3925 l[email protected]

Co-Chairman (LA FRA) Helen Courneya, PNP
 775-882-9201 [email protected]

Secretary Cathleen Ursula Gruetzner
512-694-3840 [email protected]

Treasurer Michael “Mick” Fulton, PRPSW
619-410-1660 [email protected]

Member Cindy Rodham-Tuck, PNP
508-238-3607 [email protected]

Member Pete Lazzaretti PRPNW
253-444-7516 prp[email protected]



"National Headquarters Staff Listing"

General FRA E-mail - [email protected]

1 National Executive Director - Thomas J. Snee: [email protected], ext. 101

2 Finance Officer - Brian Proctor: [email protected], ext. 102

3 Accounting - Misrak A. Zeleke, Senior Accountant: [email protected], ext. 114

4 Administration - Teresa Wiener, Director: [email protected], ext. 103

5 Call Program Rep- Amanda Boehm: [email protected],ext 112

6 Communications & Marketing - William D. Stevenson, Director: [email protected], ext. 126

7 Database Manager - Sameer N Mulla: [email protected], 109

8 IT Operations - Sami A Alsamawi, Manager: [email protected], ext. 119

9 Legislative Programs - John Davis, Director: [email protected], ext. 110

10 Stephen M. Tassin, Assistant Legislative Director: [email protected], ext. 113

11 Brian Condon, Assistant Legislative  Director: [email protected], ext. 127

12 Communications & Marketing - Victoria Duran, Manager: [email protected], ext. 124

13 Member Services - Shirley Moore, Manager: [email protected], ext. 120

14 Veterans' Services Director - Chris Slawinski, VSO: [email protected], ext. 115

15 Scholarship Administrator: s[email protected]ra.org

Recruiting Materials:

16 Member Services, [email protected], (800) FRA-1924

To order items for sale (membership pins, etc):

17 Donna Simms: [email protected], ext. 117

18 Mail Services - Jimmy Short: [email protected], ext. 116

FRA National Headquarters
125 N. West Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-2754

Send questions and comments to [email protected] or call (800) FRA-1924.


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