Alexandria, VA – The Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) announced today that United States Representative Jeff Miller will be the keynote speaker at the Association’s 86th National Convention opening ceremonies on October 16, 2013. The convention will continue through October 19 at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, 1400 Market St., Chattanooga, Tenn.
Miller represents the 1st district of Florida and has served on the House Veterans Affairs Committee (HVAC) and the House Armed Services Committee since coming to Congress in 2001. He became the HVAC chairman in 2011. The HVAC is responsible for authorization and oversight of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the second largest department in the federal government with over 300,000 employees and a budget of over $119 billion. During his tenure in Congress, Miller has established himself as an outspoken advocate for veterans’ concerns and supporter of policy changes that increase the efficiency of both military and veterans’ health care systems.
Miller is a strong supporter of FRA’s legislative agenda, particularly with regard to veterans’ healthcare and other benefits. His leadership was instrumental in Congress approving legislation (in 2004) that eliminated the so-called “Widow’s Tax” by allowing survivors of military retirees to receive both Survivor Benefit Plan annuities and Social Security benefits without offset. He has also worked to address veterans’ unemployment, expand eligibility for the concurrent receipt of military retirement and veterans’ disability compensation, fix the VA claims backlog, and promote policies that allow a greater co-sharing of health care records between the military and veterans’ clinics. In addition, he led efforts to exempt VA and DoD programs from the Affordable Care Act.
Kevin Secor, special assistant to VA Secretary Shinseki, is also scheduled to attend the convention. He will participate in a workshop designed to provide detailed information about current VA programs, policies and procedures. Secor has served in his current position since 2005, and acts as the secretary’s liaison with FRA and other Veterans Service Organizations. Secor is a retired Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sergeant and Life Member of FRA.
The convention presentations are part of the ongoing dialog between FRA and senior leaders in the military and veterans’ community. Association representatives and members of FRA’s National Headquarters team also meet regularly with government officials, members of Congress and key staff regarding issues that impact service members’ benefits and quality-of-life programs.
FRA is a congressionally chartered, non-profit organization representing the interests of current and former enlisted personnel of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. As the collective voice for all Sea Service personnel since 1924, FRA speaks on behalf of its members on Capitol Hill. There is no law protecting military benefits, so FRA is here to stand guard. In addition to its advocacy work on Capitol Hill, FRA also sponsors a national Americanism Essay Contest and assists its members with disaster relief grants.
To learn more about FRA, visit www.fra.org/; follow us on Twitter at @FRAHQ; or Like us on Facebook at www.fra.org/fb.