Sunday, March 21, 2010

Statement by Secretary Gates on impact on health care legislation on TRICARE

As Secretary of Defense, the health and well-being of America's men and women in uniform is my highest priority.

Our troops and their families can be re-assured that the health care reform legislation being passed by the Congress will not negatively impact the TRICARE medical insurance program, as it already meets the bill's quality and minimum benefit standards. This was clarified by a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday and is expected to be re-affirmed by the Senate.

The President and I are committed to seeing that our troops, retirees and their families will continue to receive the best quality health care.

1200 Servicemembers Author Books

March 21, 2010 - announced today that it listed the 1200th servicemember that has authored a book. The website,, lists servicemembers from all branches of the United States Military who have authored a book.

The 1200th author listed:

Chief Petty Officer James W. Steffes (ENC), USN, (ret.), is the author of Swift Boat Down: The Real Story of the Sinking of PCF-19.

According to the book description of Swift Boat Down: The Real Story of the Sinking of PCF-19, “This sailor was aboard another Swift Boat, PCF-12, patrolling south of the sunken boats position. Ordered to the scene to assist in the rescue, PCF-12 came under attack by helo type aircraft, identified as hostile, receiving one rocket and machine gun fire. This Swift Boat returned a deadly barrage of 50 caliber machine gun and other small arms fire causing the two helos to break contact and run away. The crew believes that one of the helos was damaged or shot down by this hail of gunfire. The investigation findings were "friendly fire" mostly because of the lack of wreckage of the helos and the pieces of Sparrow missiles found on board USS Boston and HMAS Hobart. News accounts attempted to connect the two incidents by blaming the same pilots for attacking the ships and sinking the Swift Boat. This book uses official records, logs, and message traffic to back up eye witness testimonies that refute the "friendly fire" decision. There are many people affected by this story. Those of us that were there have carried pieces of this incident in our memories for 37 years. Families and friends of the dead and missing have wondered about the truth behind the decision of "friendly fire" vs "hostile fire". This book will answer many of those questions and put many lives at rest again.”

Coast Guard Photojournalist

On March 29, 2010, Conversations with American Heroes at the Watering Hole will feature David Walks-As-Bear, USCG (ret.) on his experiences as a Coast Guard Photojournalist.

Program Date: March 29, 2010
Program Time: 1500 hours Pacific
Topic: Coast Guard Photojournalist
Listen Live:

About the Guest
David Walks-As-Bear, USCG (ret.) “served in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve and retired after 21 years in the 'Hooligan Navy'. Assigned to the newly formed Rapid Deployment Force in 1983, he served as a combat boat crewman with OCONUS (Outside the Continental U.S.) port security unit. It was while serving as a Coast Guard photojournalist that he honed his writing skills. When he began writing for civilian publications, he used the combination of his Christian and Shawnee names of "David Walks-As-Bear" to help keep the Indian culture alive for his children. He credits his wife with his efforts as a writer today because it was she that encouraged him to put pen to paper, over and over again.” David Walks-As-Bear is the author of The Murmurings, Shamus Ghillie US Secret Service In Medicine Hat, The L.P., and Old Money

About the Watering Hole
The Watering Hole is Police slang for a location cops go off-duty to blow off steam and talk about work and life. American Heroes Radio brings you to the watering hole, where it is Sometimes funny; sometimes serious; but, always interesting.

About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and the Criminal Justice Department chair, faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in Law Enforcement, public policy, Public Safety Technology and leadership. Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One. He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in Law Enforcement.

Listen, call, join us at the Watering Hole:
Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA