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Scholarship deadline nears

Applications for the Scholarships for Military Children Program must be turned in to a commissary by close of business Feb. 22. The program awards at least $1,500 at each commissary. If there are no eligible applicants from a particular commissary, the funds designated for that commissary will be awarded as an additional scholarship at another store. Applicants must be a dependent, unmarried child of an active duty service member, retiree, reservist, guardsman, or survivor of a military member who died while on active duty, or survivor of a retiree. They must be younger than 21 or 23, if enrolled as a full-time college student. Applicants must be enrolled in DEERS and have a military ID card. An applicant must also be planning to attend or already attending an accredited college, full time, in the fall, or be enrolled in a program of studies designed to transfer directly into a four-year program. Applicants must submit an essay – less than 500 words -- on how one of the First Ladies (since 1933) has made an impact on a social issue in the United States. For information, call 856-616-9311 or visit http://www.militaryscholar.org.

Tobacco use is limited

Tobacco use is prohibited on Air Force installations except in designated tobacco areas and housing units. Tobacco use includes, but is not limited to, cigars, cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, stem pipes, water pipes, hookahs and smokeless products that are chewed, dipped, or sniffed. All medical treatment facilities will be tobacco-free by September. The medical treatment campus encompasses the facility as well as its parking lots, lawns and “other outdoor areas contiguous with the medical treatment facility.” Tobacco use is also prohibited for Airmen in uniform or during school hours in training courses, professional military education, officer training school, technical training and inter-service training programs. TRICARE beneficiaries who use tobacco are encouraged to review resources at DoD’s tobacco cessation website, www.ucanquit2.org.

ID cards change

Blue retiree identification cards issued before Dec. 2012 show “INDEF” as an expiration date. Since December, ID cards issued to retirees have an expiration date: the day before the retiree’s 65th birthday. Although military retirement benefits will not expire, some changes will take effect based on Medicare eligibility. While still enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, the expiration date serves as a reminder to enroll in Medicare Part A and B to retain TRICARE for Life eligibility. Those who retired before December do not need to get a new ID card because of the expiration date change. However, if your ID card is worn out or your appearance has changed enough that the picture is no longer a good likeness, you should get your card replaced. Retirees who receive the new card will get a replacement card showing the indefinite status once they turn 65. Cards issued to spouses will read “INDEF” once they turn 75. For additional information on retiree ID cards, DEERS eligibility programs and other personnel matters, call 1-800-525-0102.

The Retiree Activities Office is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Visit the office in Building 1604 at California and Colorado Avenues or call us at 301 981-2726. Our e-mail address is raoandrews.af.mil. Calling the office before your visit to ensure a volunteer is on duty. The RAO has a website at www.andrews.af.mil, click on “Retirees” for a wealth of information on retiree subjects, including past copies of “Retiree Activities Corner.”