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From: "\"Doc\" Bruce K. Melson" <>






Friday, July 13, 2001

The News Herald Military retirees seeking the restoration of their right to
free, lifetime medical care are in the catbird seat, retired Air Force Col.
George "Bud" Day told an armed-forces group Thursday. "Frankly, we've floored
them," Day told members of Chapter FL-10 of the National Association of
Uniformed Services. "We've got them on the deck, and they're not going to get
up." The retirees' class-action lawsuit against the federal government is
awaiting a hearing before the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit.
Three members of that court ruled in favor of the retirees in February, but
the government sought and received a rehearing before the entire court. A
hearing date has not been set. In 1995, Day, an attorney from Fort Walton
Beach, sued the federal government, listing himself as the plaintiff.
Military hospitals had recently begun accepting retirees on a
"space-available" basis, instead of as a matter of routine. With that change,
Day argued, the government broke a promise to provide free, lifetime medical
care to people who served 20 years or more in the military. Other retired
military members heard about the suit and began contacting Day. He changed
the lawsuit to a class action, with the primary plaintiffs being Robert
Reinlie and Sam Schism. Day is the country's most highly decorated officer
and the most decorated since Gen. Douglas MacArthur. After being shot down
over North Vietnam, Day spent 67 months as a prisoner of war.

"When the way comes to an end, then change - having changed, you pass through."

      I. Ching


 Bruce "Doc". Melson