The Washington Ramble

ARA Quarterly Newsletter - January 2017, ARA Vol 33 Issue 1 - Get it here in PDF

Your voice on Capitol Hill,
Michael P. Smith,
Executive Director

When was the last time you visited a Veterans Hospital? Recently, I visited our wonderful Wounded Warriors" in a nearby VA facility. This visit made me cry. It did not compare to a local civilian hospital. The building and facilities needed upgrades and remodeling. Clearly, what's been going on within the VA? Certainly not expected improvements. Staff bonuses and promotions...yes! This subject was discussed during my last testimony to both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The main response was nothing will happen until the new administration is installed. Frankly, I'm anxious to see the changes.

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Hot off the Presses


Thanks to DFAS and the Freedom of Information Act, we are able to share the current toll USFSPA provisions are taking on uniformed services personnel, and by extension, the very national security that protects us from our foreign and domestic enemies.

The 97th Congress passed USFSPA provisions to President Reagan and he signed it into law. Iowa Senator Harold Jepson apologized to me, in a Memo, for the harm his legislation (it was his version of the Bill that cleared the joint conference) has done to career uniformed services personnel and by extension to the national defense team we all rely on to protect us from our foreign and domestic enemies.

State legislators dodge the USFSPA reform issue, by falsely claiming it is a Congressional mandate. Interestingly, six of our great States protect their government employee pensioners from the harm USFSPA provisions lay on our Federal Uniformed Service pesonnel. Ironically, other states want us to believe they too cannot similarly protect those who make their every existence possible.......Learn More->


Divorce and the Military II


Discover how unpublicized Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act provisions target career Military, PHS and NOAA personnel! .......................ORDER THE BOOK..............................

Divorce in the military(1) What You Don't Know CanHurt You
(2) What USFSPA Is and What It Is Not
(3) Where Were You in '82? (Things the Recruiter Didn't Tell You)
(4) Controversy Aplenty
(5) Is it lncome or ls it Property?
(6) Women in Uniform
(7) The Reserves and the Guard
(8) All Divorces Are Not Alike: What you need to consider
(9) Federal Benefits: Here Today and May be Gone Tomorrow
(10) Financial Management Before and After Your Divorce
(11) Survivor Benefit Plan
(12) 51 Flavors and Counting
(13) The Divorce Process
(14) Selecting an Attorney
(15) Strategies
(16) Legislative Environment:
(17) About the ARA
(18) Restoring Fairness and Equality

View the Complete Table of Contents of Divorce in the Miliary


The Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA)

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) was implemented ostensibly to protect deserving uniformed service member former spouses. Ironically, it created a class of service member casualties, larger than those it was designed to protect.

The American Retirees Association (ARA) was founded in 1984 specifically to address the numerous inequities found in Title 10 USC 1408 et seq (USFSPA). ARA is a 501(c)(19) Veterans Support Organization (VSO), chartered in California, as Tax Exempt Corporation 1551226, with Federal Tax Exemption ID  33-0246743. Our field membership is comprised of all male and female members of the Uniformed Services, residing across the United States and around the world.

USFSPA 1099-R Fraud Alert

There is no easy method for a concerned State Department of Revenue to determine which Form 1099-R is from a military retiree or a former dependent military spouse. In addition, there is no easy way to determine whether a Form 1099-R is reporting tax exempt military retired pay or non-exempt payments, pursuant to a divorce decree, for which Title 10 of the United States Code,

Section §1408(c)(2), applies. If you can identify a resident you believe has committed or is committing this USFSPA related fraud, consider reporting their contact information to their Department of Revenue, Audit Bureau, (anonymously, if you prefer). We are confidant their case-by-case basis investigation results are confidential.

DISCLAIMER: The American Retirees Association provides general information on the issue of non-disability military retirement benefits as a divisible marital asset. It is with the understanding that this Web Site is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. State laws relative to domestic relations vary and change frequently. If legal or other expert assistance is required, please consult with competent professionals.