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.


 
 

 

Chaplain’s thoughts …

Boo! Each year we celebrate Halloween. From cute to gory, from charming to horrifying we find numerous ways to observe this day. Halloween, like many American holidays, seems to mean many things to many people; it deftly spans the continuum from comical to horrifying. Many people of faith back away from the celebration of this...
 
 
Dracula_Untold_poster[1]

Fly Over: ‘Dracula Untold’ and ‘Gone Girl’

In theaters: ‘Dracula Untold’ Ever since I was a child, I’ve always had an affinity for the supernatural or the unbelievable. I remember watching the old “Blade” movies and hoping for “Dracula” to appear, ...
 
 

Dollars and Sense

Every few years, military families pack up and head out on that next permanent chainge station adventure. Whether you’re moving to Florida’s sunny coast, the remote northern bases in North Dakota, or near the busy metropolis above Virginia, the nation’s housing may have you thinking that buying a home in your new town is a...
 

 
141020-SMSgt-Shelly-Bailey-8x10-DW

Path to inspirational leadership evolving skillset

Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Bailey At some point in our Air Force career we will assume a leadership role. Leadership is an ever-evolving skillset that you will continue to develop throughout the course of your career. The highes...
 
 

Bridges: build, don’t burn

Have you heard the phrase “don’t burn your bridges?” This idiom is used to describe the importance of not ending a relationship on a bad note. In this case, the relationship is your military career. For example, when you build professional relationships you are networking or laying the foundation for the building of a bridge....
 
 

Red Ribbon reminder to be drug free

Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena was kidnapped, tortured and brutally murdered on Feb. 7, 1985, by Mexican drug traffickers. After the murder of Agent Camarena citizens of his hometown of Calexico, California, wore red ribbons in his honor. This marked the beginning of the oldest and most visible prevention awareness campaign in the...
 




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