Commentary

August 24, 2012

Make life after death choices now

by Lt. Col. TIMOTHY FARR
56th Force Support Squadron commander

The concept of life after death can vary from person to person. As the Luke Air Force Base mortuary officer, this concept has a new meaning for me. One of my principle responsibilities is to take care of the people who will care for you and your loved ones if you were to die while on active duty.

Whether you are a first-term Airman or the wing commander, you can’t escape the fact that military service is filled with risks. This assertion became ever apparent to me during this tour, having had the opportunity to work 19 mortuary cases since Aug. 1, 2011.

During these cases, the common denominator was that all the families who lost loved ones had to make decisions on funeral arrangements and honors for the fallen family member. To ensure your wishes are carried out promptly and in a timely manner, there are four things you can do now.

The first is to determine who you would like to receive your monetary benefits and entitlements, which include the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance, your unpaid pay and allowances and death gratuity. All these benefits are payable by percentages to whomever you wish to be the beneficiary.

Secondly, you need to think about who you want to handle funeral arrangements. This individual is known as the person authorized to direct disposition or PADD. The PADD makes decisions on whether you are cremated or interred and the location of your interment site, whether this will be a government or civilian cemetery.

The third thing that needs to happen is to inform your loved ones of your wishes. Be sure you articulate to them who will receive monetary benefits. Furthermore, go over funeral arrangement wishes with family members and the person you will designate as your PADD. You will need to decide whether you want to be cremated or buried. If buried, do you want your body placed in a military or civilian cemetery? In addition, your PADD will have to decide if full military honors will be conducted or not. It is important your wishes be communicated early to your family members and your PADD because these details are not outlined in the Virtual Military Personnel Flight.

Finally, it’s imperative you make your wishes a matter of record. The best way to do this is through the Record of Emergency Data located in the vMPF through the Air Force Portal. Via this application, you can identify emergency contact information (next-of-Kin) and your PADD. This document cannot be changed by any other person except you.

After initial completion, you must ensure you keep this record as current as possible and continually update as appropriate (marriages, birth of children, change of wishes, etc.).

For more information on beneficiaries of SGLI, death gratuity, or unpaid pay and allowances, call Glinda Moore, Luke Air Force Base casualty assistance representative, at (623) 606-3019.

For more information about funeral arrangements and entitlements, call Staff Sgt. Aaron Anstrom at (623) 856-3771.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy Photo

Luke 1 holds first commander’s call

Courtesy Photo Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, begins his first commander’s call at Luke Air Force Base Monday. Pleus took command of the fighter wing June 20. Brig. Gen Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing com...
 
 

Balance, key to successful AF life

I believe proper balance is the key to a successful life in the Air Force. Over the years I’ve come to realize that it takes a concentrated effort to maintain balance between a professional life as an Air Force member and personal or family life. Both require constant learning, adjustments, development and attention. It’s easy...
 
 

Avoid claustrophobic career

I have heard many times that education is the great equalizer. The Air Force takes in people of all races, cultures and backgrounds and unifies them under simple beliefs and values. The enlisted force structure serves as the common language for force development, and education plays a major role. We all know education creates opportunity,...
 

 
James Hensley

No one flies until flight med gives OK

James Hensley Airman 1st Class Shawn Martinez, 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron flight medicine technician, checks over the ambulance Aug. 19 with Staff Sgt. Jovanny Reyes, 56th AMDS medical technician, at Luke Air Force Base. ...
 
 

News Briefs August 29, 2014

Gate hours change The South Gate Visitor Registration Center hours have changed. They are 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Effective Tuesday, the North Gate is open inbound and outbound 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Also on Tuesday, the Kachina Gate will open inbound and outbound 6 a.m. to 10...
 
 

THUNDERBOLT OF THE WEEK

Senior Airman Brian Comia 56th Force Support Squadron Services journeyman Hometown: San Lorenzo, California Years in service: Three Family: Wife, Phoebe; daughters, Sophia and Isabella Inspirations: My family Goals: My short-term goal is to make staff sergeant next year Greatest feat: Becoming a U.S. citizen and having the pleasure and honor of serving this country...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin