Volunteer service officer retiring

Willie Browning, a retired Army captain, is retiring after many years of work in the veteran community as a volunteer Veterans Service Officer in Harker Heights. Over the many years she served as a volunteer, Browning has helped well over 100,000 veterans with their Department of Veterans Affairs claims in the Fort Hood, Killeen, Harker Heights and Copperas Cove communities.

The Women’s Army Corps Veterans Association Genevieve Chapter 94 invites the public to join them in a ‘Celebration of Service’ to recognize Browning’s retirement and birthday May 12th at her favorite restaurant, Big Hoss BBQ. Social starts at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 and are expected to sell out. RSVP to womenproudlyserving@hotmail.com by Thursday to attend.

If you, or anyone you know, has been helped by Willie’s efforts and would like to write a letter or note to express your appreciation, feel free to send them to womenproudlyserving@hotmail.com. The Women’s Army Corps Veterans Association would like to get as many notes or letters from as many people as possible telling how Browning helped them to present to her during the dinner and reflect her service to the community.

David A. Bryant

Active-duty military could pay for health care if draft plan passes

People who enter active-duty military service in 2018 could be paying out of pocket for their Tricare health care services for themselves and their families, under a draft proposal for the National Defense Authorization Act released Monday by the House Armed Services Committee.

The military health system section of the legistlation, which is passed annually to authorize the fiscal year military budget, would allow the secretary of defense to establish annual enrollment fees and fixed dollar co-payments for Tricare Preferred and Tricare Prime for active-duty members and their families, according to the bill.

According to www.mytricare.com, Tricare is the military health insurance provided by Humana Inc., a for-profit health care provider based in Louisville, Ky. Active-duty military, their families, retirees and their families enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System are eligible for Tricare programs.

Active-duty members enlisting after Jan. 1, 2018, would pay an annual fee of $180 for an individual or $360 for a family for Tricare Prime. Those opting for Tricare Preferred, a combination of what is currently Tricare Standard and Tricare Extra, would pay $425 annually for an individual or $850 for a family plan.

These new users would also be required to pay set amounts for primary and specialty care under Tricare Preferred, which allows patients to see network providers at a lower cost and out-of-network providers without a referral.

Read the full story at www.kdhnews.com/military.

David A. Bryant

House committee votes women eligible for draft

A bold move by the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday could soon have women between the ages of 18 and 26 heading to their local county courthouses to register under Selective Service, the government agency that keeps records of who is eligible to be drafted during a time of war.

The amendment to the House’s annual defense authorization bill was proposed by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., in an effort to open a dialogue about the draft.

Hunter opposes the Obama administration’s recent policy change allowing women to serve in all combat roles and said he only filed the amendment to start the discussion. He voted against his own amendment, arguing that anyone who favored it would be siding with the administration.

Five Republicans and all but one Democrat voted for the amendment in a 32-30 vote in favor by the committee.

The current law requires all men between 18 and 26 to register for the draft. According to www.sss.gov, failing to register or comply with the Military Selective Service Act is a felony punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 or a prison term of up to five years, or a combination of both.

Read the full story at www.kdhnews.com/military.

David A. Bryant

“D-Day” to premier at Central Texas College’s Mayborn Science Theater on Friday

The Mayborn Science Theater will open several new shows this Friday including the full-dome show “D-Day: Normandy 1944.” Narrated by Tom Brokaw, the show uses a variety of cinematography techniques to detail the largest allied operation of World War II which began in Normandy, France. “D-Day” explores the history, military strategy, science, technology and human values of this monumental event which helped shape the world during World War II. Audiences will discover from a new perspective how this landing changed the world and how this region became the most important location in the world from the end of 1943 through August 1944. The show also pays tribute to those who gave their lives for our freedom. “D-Day” premieres Friday, May 6 at 7 p.m. and will air every Friday and Saturday at that time during May.

Other new shows recently added to the schedule include “Solar Superstorms.” It is one of the most intensive efforts ever made to visualize the inner workings of the sun. The show takes viewers into the tangle of magnetic fields and superhot plasma that vent the sun’s rage in dramatic flares, violent solar tornadoes and the largest eruptions in the solar system: coronal mass ejections. Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, “Solar Superstorms” also includes a series of groundbreaking scientific visualizations on the giant new supercomputing initiative, Blue Waters, based at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois. Show time is Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

At 9 p.m. is another new show “From Earth to the Universe” which takes the audience to the colorful birthplaces and burial grounds of stars and beyond the Milky Way to the unimaginable immensity of a myriad of galaxies. Filled with stunning visualizations, the show also details the history of astronomy, the invention of the telescope and today’s giant telescopes that allow us continue to probe ever deeper into the universe. Show time is Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m.

For a complete show listing, directions to the Mayborn Science Theater, membership information and more, visit www.starsatnight.org.

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