JANET SNYDER, LEGISLATIVE CHAIR
At the October 6 - 13 SMW Convention Cruise, I was nominated as your Legislative Chair by President Etta Brown, and gladly accepted. My husband Tom passed on October 23, 2010. He served in the U.S. Army for 20 years, and retired in 1978. He was rated 100% disabled by the VA, due to effects of diabetes and prostate cancer from Agent Orange in Vietnam (1969 - 1970). He was also diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2006, and I became his full-time caregiver. I contacted TAPS regarding counseling, and was referred to a member of Gold Star Wives. There was no GSW chapter in Las Vegas, so I invited Members at Large and potential members to a meeting on February 17, 2011, and we formed the Las Vegas Valley Chapter. During that year I learned about the Society of Military Widows and joined as a Member at Large, attending the SMW National Convention in Las Vegas in October 2011. Although busy with the GSW chapter and being elected as the GSW National Chaplain, I began working on starting a SMW chapter for Southern Nevada. Our first meeting was in January 2012, and on March 11, 2012, we were chartered. My inspiration is Jeanne Thompson from El Paso, who has been my mentor with the Society of Military Widows and in doing legislative work on behalf of military surviving spouses. Have also been inspired and energized by all of the wonderful members of SMW whom I met at the 2011 and 2012 SMW conventions and meetings. You are all such sincere and caring women !!
This photograph was taken during the Parade of Banners at the October 2012 SMW Convention Cruise. From Left to Right: Marilyn Fernandez (Chaplain), Janet Snyder (President), Alberta Elliott, Midge Sparlin (Members of SMW of Southern Nevada Chapter 34). We are wearing our SMW Chapter 34 T-shirts and holding our chapter banner.
This year I was also appointed by MOAA as a member of the Auxiliary Member Advisory Committee (AMAC). As one of six members from around the country, we voted to make the elimination of the SBP/DIC offset as our 2012 - 2013 project. Our plan is to get at least two military surviving spouses from every state (more from the large states like CA, FL, NY and TX) to travel to Washington, DC, on July 16 & 17, 2013; July 16 to 'Storm the Hill', visiting Senators, Representatives, plus their Military Legislative Assistants (MLAs) and staff, to bring fact sheets and documentation, in order to discuss the SBP/DIC offset that currently affects 55,000 un-remarried military surviving spouses.
This will be an Education Project. On July 17 MOAA will host a Breakfast for all military surviving spouses and supporters who attend, and the invited Congressional staff members. Informational material will be prepared for each staff member.
This event will be open to anyone who wants to help see this injustice eliminated.
MOAA will block hotel rooms at a hotel in the DC area that is close to a Metro line, so we can get to Capitol Hill on July 16 & 17. We can share rooms, to keep expenses down.
There will be a lot of work to do, to get this project organized. Now is the time to give this preliminary information to your chapter members and Members at Large. Encourage them to commit to coming to Washington, DC, on July 16 & 17, 2013.
This event is meant to educate the new 113th Congress, MLAs and staff.
-- To enlist at least two (2) military surviving spouses from each state (more than 2 from large states like CA, FL, NY & TX) to come to Washington, DC on July 16 & 17.
-- Who ? Military surviving spouses affected by SBP/DIC offset (55,000 from around the country)
a. Those who paid SBP premiums for 30 years
b. Those who are totally SBP offset by DIC (receive only DIC - 33,000 out of the 55,000)
c. Those who chose the child option for SBP
d. Remarried widows and widowers
e. Divorced spouses
f. Current spouses of members who have elected SBP
g. Friends and supporters for this issue
We want to include EVERYONE in this effort, to eliminate the SBP/DIC offset for un-remarried military surviving spouses:
MOAA (Military Officers Association of America)
Gold Star Wives of America, Inc.
Society of Military Widows
NAUS (National Association for Uniformed Services)
TREA (The Retired Enlisted Association)
VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars)
Vietnam Veterans of America
Jewish War Veterans
Catholic War Veterans
Military Order of the World Wars
Order of the Purple Heart
TMC (The Military Coalition)
NMFA (National Military Family Association)
USDR (Uniformed Services Disabled Retirees)
National Guard Association
Retired Military Wives Clubs
-- Plus any other organizations you can think of, to enlist their support in this effort !!
-- Don't forget your family and friends !!
SAVE THE DATES OF JULY 16 & 17, 2013 !!
More information to follow, as more definite plans are made.....
Thanks for all your help.