Oppose Fees and Co-pays

By Webmaster

Oppose Tri-Care For Life new Enrollment Fees and Co-pays

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently testified before the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee (SASC-P) on reducing the Department of Defense compensation costs. In its written testimony CBO urged Congress to enact a new TRICARE for Life (TFL) annual enrollment fee of $575 for individual coverage or $1,150 for family coverage. TFL beneficiaries would also be required to pay the first $850 and 50 percent of the next $7,650 in cost annually. Currently, TFL beneficiaries do not pay an annual enrollment fee. Further CBO recommends increasing retirees TRICARE Prime annual enrollment fee from the current $352 for the individual and $704 for family to $650 and $1300 respectively. TRICARE Select beneficiaries would pay an annual enrollment fee of $485 for individual coverage and $970 for a family.

Voice your opposition now to your legislators:

Get the key!

Back somewhere about 1980’ish me (Sgt. Woconish RADAR Shop) and a new guy to the shop L/Cpl. Moran are walking out to the back line to work on a jet. I SNAP my fingers and spin around “Moran, run back to Maintenance Control and tell the GUNNY Sgt. Woconish wants the starting key to AC105.”

So he runs off and a few minutes later comes back

Not looking happy. Sarge, the GUNNY says for you to come get the key . Well now !!!! “You get back in there and TELL THE GUNNY I SAID GIVE ME THE KEY !!!!!!!” (The Gunny knows the GAME we are playing with Moran)
”We run him back and forth a few times"
I liked Moran, he’s a good Marine !!! SEMPER FI 


By Tom and Gail Merkle

Pop was always amazed that a Marine Fighter Squadron would so willingly adopt a crusty old Navy aviator. I still think about him saying, during our Nashville reunion, "I believe all the liquor at the bar in the Trip Trey ready room was stolen from the Navy. I'll have to reclaim it one glass at a time."

Pop was perhaps the last enlisted Naval aviator from the all-enlisted flight crews that flew the PB4Y-2 Privateer. He started as a radioman on the TBM Avenger and then went to Corpus Cristi TX for flight school.

WestPac 1972-1973

 by Stan Prince

On June 5th 1972, after the nice send off the War Protesters gave us as we exited Norfolk Harbor, my Squadron VMFA-333 ☘️☘️☘️ deployed aboard the USS America (CVA-66) for 293 days 242 of which were at Sea. We, in total, completed 7 Line Periods on Yankee Station off the coast of North Vietnam.

Besides from my duties as an AO (Aviation Ordnance) of loading our planes with weaponry and maintaining the weapon systems I was also attached to Ship’s Company for arming aircraft on the catapults and dearming aircraft on the bow once they came back from their mission.

Michael Paul Rice of VF-74

 By Stan Prince

A VF-74 RIO was killed while attempting a night trap aboard the USS America on Yankee Station. I was up forward ready to disarm his plane. He made a hard landing and FOD'ed an engine and tried climbing his F4 for a go-around. But they ejected out into the night. I picked up his chute just before he plowed into the bow. When my flashlight caught his face he looked at me helplessly as I did him right before his death.

I sometimes wake up at night with his face staring at me for help and there is nothing that can be done. If he had only been ten feet higher I think we could have saved him.

Back to WestPac for Me

By Stan Prince

March 24, 1973 while manning the rails aboard the USS America we tied up at Pier 12 in Norfolk. Marching down the gang plank I took my first step on US soil in over 10 months.

There were crowds of people looking for their loved one as they disembarked the Ship. Many reuniting with families, many Sailors seeing their newborn daughter or son for the first time. We marched to our awaiting buses and made our way to the airport to our Marine C -130 and our short flight Home to MCAS Beaufort SC. There we had our HOMECOMING and all the pomp and circumstance the Corps is known for.

Major Lee Lasseter

Lieutenant Colonel Lee T. "Bear" Lasseter (1934–1980) was an Officer and aviator in the United States Marine Corps. Then Major Lasseter and his Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) Captain John "Lil" Cummings are the only all USMC aircrew to shoot down a North Vietnam MiG during the Viet Nam War. On 11 September 1972, while piloting his F-4J of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 333(VMFA-333) off the deck of the USS America (CV-66), he and his RIO led a four-ship MigCap mission northeast of Hanoi and successfully shot down a MiG-21 and damaged a second MiG. On egress their F-4J was hit by a Surface to Air Missile (SAM), forcing the crew to eject feet wet out to sea and were successfully rescued. Lasseter died in 1980 following gall bladder surgery in Florida.

The Infamous "Scooby" !!!

Nguyen Van Bay and the Aces From the North

Many of my trips to Vietnam have run together in my memory, including some of the 180 I made in McDonnell F-4 Phantoms during what the Vietnamese call “the American war.” But once I took in 1997 will always remain distinct. On that trip, I met North Vietnamese ace Nguyen Van Bay (pronounced “win von by”).

I was on a kind of mission, one that really got started seven years earlier when I went to Hanoi with state department official Ken Quinn, later the U.S. ambassador to Cambodia from 1996 to 1999. Quinn was searching for information about U.S. servicemen who were classified as missing in action, and one of them, Major John “Robbie” Robertson, was a friend of mine, a squadron mate. In 1966 we both flew F-4Cs from Ubon Royal Thai Air Base


From World War II to Operation Desert Storm. The "Fighting Shamrocks" from VMSB to VMFA have served and sacrificed gallantly every time it has been called upon. From the cold inside the Artic Circle at Bodo Norway to the heat and dirt of Balıkesir Turkey. Shamrocks have left their mark.


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