Army Families Want More Health Care Access, Support

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Soldier giving eye exam
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Army Families Want More Health Care Access, Support

Soldiers and Army spouses are looking for easier access to health care services and more support, particularly for their families and during the transition to civilian life, a new survey found.

The 2021 Military Family Support Programming Survey, conducted by the Military Family Advisory Network, combines responses from 8,638 people, including military spouses and active-duty personnel, to highlight the experiences and needs of military families. Of the respondents, just over 40% were affiliated with the Army.

Burn Pit Bill Backed by AUSA

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Burn Pit Bill Backed by AUSA

The Association of the U.S. Army has joined with other military and veterans’ organizations in support of bipartisan legislation that expands Department of Veterans Affairs health care to more than 3.5 million veterans exposed to the toxic fumes of battlefield burn pits.

Deadline Approaches to Update Tricare Coverage

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soldier giving eye exam
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Deadline Approaches to Update Tricare Coverage

Military retirees and eligible beneficiaries who use Tricare have until Dec. 13 to enroll in or make changes to their health care coverage. 

Tricare open season, which began Nov. 8, allows beneficiaries who use Tricare Prime or Tricare Select to stay on their plan, enroll in a plan or change plans. Any changes go into effect on Jan. 1. 

Rise in Chronic Pain Affects Troops, Readiness

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Soldier running
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Rise in Chronic Pain Affects Troops, Readiness

Chronic pain is a leading cause of disability and reduced readiness among active-duty service members, a Rand Corp. study that analyzed Military Health System data found.

Cost of Caring for Post-9/11 Veterans Expected to Soar

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wounded warriors
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Cost of Caring for Post-9/11 Veterans Expected to Soar

The U.S. will spend between $2.2 trillion and $2.5 trillion on disability and health care benefits for post-9/11 veterans by 2050, according to a new research paper from Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. 

Army Studies Mindfulness, Holistic Health

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Soldier meditating
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Army Studies Mindfulness, Holistic Health

In its continuing effort to instill a holistic approach to wellness in the force, the Army has launched “a few pilots” to study how it can incorporate the practice of mindfulness among soldiers at every level.

DoD Extends ID Card Renewal Deadlines

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DoD Extends ID Card Renewal Deadlines

Army National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers, military families and retirees now have more time to renew their military identification cards, the Pentagon announced.

The extensions, announced June 7, affect those with Uniformed Services Identification Cards that expire between Jan. 1, 2020, and July 31, 2021. The goal is to allow DoD personnel and beneficiaries to maintain access to health care and other benefits while ID card sites continue to deal with COVID-19 restrictions. 

The new deadlines are:

Soldiers Still Missing Sleep, Avoiding Healthy Foods

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Sleeping tent
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Soldiers Still Missing Sleep, Avoiding Healthy Foods

A June report on Army health finds just 37% of soldiers are getting seven or more hours of sleep, 25% of soldiers are using tobacco products, and less than half of soldiers are eating enough fruits and vegetables. 

DoD Making ‘Good, Steady Progress’ on COVID-19 Shots

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soldier giving vaccine
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DoD Making ‘Good, Steady Progress’ on COVID-19 Shots

More than 60% of active-duty troops have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose—and that number is “climbing daily,” according to the head of the Defense Health Agency.

“We’ve directly administered almost 3.5 million doses to our eligible beneficiaries and coordinated at least another 800,000 doses of vaccine for our Tricare providers and retail pharmacy networks,” Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, told Congress on May 25.