• August 30, 2014

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Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 4:30 am

Auction of abandoned vehicles raises $122K

More than 100 vehicles and pieces of equipment, most that had simply been abandoned on Fort Hood, were auctioned March 1, raising more than $122,000 to benefit Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs.

“There are hundreds of abandoned vehicles on this base,” said John Justis, a recreation assistant at Sprocket Auto Craft Center who served as the auctioneer. “If you drive (across the base on the main road) you’ll see about 30 vehicles that are just parked there on flat tires. It’s a process of several months before they wind up here. We fill out all the paperwork and attempt verification, but the bottom line is what do you do with the hundreds of abandoned vehicles? At some point you either have to crush them or do something, so somebody made the legal decision that we can sell them.”

The money raised will help MWR’s mission to enhance the lives of service members and their families.

Another auction may be held in the fall.

Sgt. Ken Scar, 7th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment public affairs

Proposed VA budget: $164 billion

President Barack Obama proposed last week a $163.9 billion budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs. It’s a 6.5 percent increase over fiscal year 2014, that will support VA’s goals to expand access to health care and other benefits, and aims to eliminate the disability claims backlog and end homelessness among veterans. The budget includes $68.4 billion in discretionary spending, largely for health care, and $95.6 billion for mandatory programs — mostly disability compensation and pensions for veterans.

“This budget will allow us to continue the progress we have made in helping veterans secure their place in the middle class,” Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said in a release. “It is a tangible demonstration of the president’s commitment to ensuring veterans and their families have the care and benefits they’ve earned and deserve.”

The $68.4 billion total in discretionary spending includes about $3.1 billion in medical care collections from health insurers and veteran copayments.

Rose L. Thayer

Fort Hood soldier part of 2014 Soldier Show

U.S. Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation announced the 2014 cast of the U.S. Army Soldier Show, and one Fort Hood soldier made the cut.

Spc. Aurielle Polynice, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, is one of 19 soldiers chosen to sing, dance and entertain troops on this year’s soon-to-be announced tour.

This year’s theme is “Stand Strong” and will begin touring April 11.

The Soldier Show is a self-contained touring operation where the cast and crew travel to a Army garrison locations, load-in and set-up for the show and then entertain both soldiers and civilians. After the show, the same cast and crew have the responsibility to break-down and load-out for the next show.

Rose L. Thayer

Soldier jailed for holding a minor in barracks

A Fort Hood soldier who hid a 14-year-old girl in his barracks for several days in October was sentenced in federal court March 5.

Spc. Ethan Thomas Hays, 21, will serve two years in prison and pay $1,100 in fines, according to court records.

The soldier with 2nd Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment, 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, pleaded guilty to the charges in January.

Chris McGuinness

NCO charged in alleged prostitution ring

A Fort Hood noncommissioned officer implicated in an alleged “prostitution ring” will face criminal charges, Fort Hood officials announced Friday.

Sgt. 1st Class Gregory McQueen faces 21 charges related to pandering, conspiracy, maltreatment of a subordinate, abusive sexual contact, adultery and conduct of a nature to bring discredit to the armed forces.

At the time of the alleged incidents, McQueen was a sexual assault prevention officer with III Corps’ Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion.

McQueen will have an Article 32 hearing March 20-21 at Fort Hood. At the hearing, the investigating officer will hear evidence and make a recommendation of whether the case should move to a court-martial.

Read the full story at KDHnews.com/news/crime.

Chris McGuinness

TRICARE.MIL named best website

The Tricare Beneficiary website was recently awarded the Best Government and Public Sector website in an annual competition hosted by Sitecore, a customer experience management software company. The award recognizes excellence in the website’s delivery of effective, meaningful digital experiences across 23 categories.

The Tricare.mil project is one of the largest government implementations of Sitecore and has cut costs by reducing the time developers have to spend maintaining the website, allowing them to focus on major functional enhancements instead of daily maintenance.

Since launching the site, the number of technical issues reported by users through the website feedback mechanism has reduced dramatically, according to the company.

Next month, the site will become the leading way to access insurance information and get questions answered for Fort Hood beneficiaries. On April 1, the Tricare walk-in service center located at Fort Hood will close.

Rose L. Thayer

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