By BGen Bob Clements USAF (Ret,)

Working with the same bulldog intensity as they did for Tricare For Life, retired Air Force Master Sergeants Jim Whittington and Floyd Sears have succeeded in scoring another first for military retirees.

Haley Barbour, Governor of their home state of Mississippi, has issued a proclamation stating his support “for honoring the promises made to those distinguished citizens by ensuring that quality and access to health care be maintained”.

This is the same, high level, intensity of focus, that both of these men utilized when putting together a vast Grass Roots effort to ally with The Military Coalition and military retirees all over the U.S. to forge the spectacular benefits that Medicare-eligible retirees and spouses, and those of the future, under Tricare for Life are entitled by Public Law.


Governor Barbour has direct access to the President of the United States by virtue of being close personal friends and also due to his long tenure of service to the Republican Party. Notably, serving as past Chairman of the Republican National Committee and now as the Governor of the great state of Mississippi.

As Congress moves forward next month, enacting important legislation directly impacting the lives of military retirees and their dependents, we have an opportunity to gain an important spokesman with the President in our efforts to see that past promises made by other administrations are fulfilled.

Would you please write a letter or send an e-mail to Governor Barbour thanking him for his support of military retirees.

The letters may be addressed to:
Governor Haley Reeves Barbour
PO Box 139
Jackson, MS 39205-0139
Or E-mail may be sent directly to the Governor at
and please copy his administrative assistant Mr. Lucien Smith at

This dedication to the retiree community earned both Whittington and Sears letters of commendation from now retired Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Ryan, and former Commander USTRANSCOM, retired Air Force Gen. Tony Robertson.

The two MSgts haven't slowed one bit in their efforts to have Congress fulfill the healthcare promises made to those serving a full career in the military service.

Top most also in their sights is gaining entitled healthcare for those retirees below 65 and correcting the shoddy way military widows are treated through the Survivors Benefit Plan (SBP) - by having their earned retirement pay offset by Social Security attainment just when they are becoming most vulnerable to life's problems in their old age… some almost to the point of poverty.

Seeing this proclamation by Governor Barbour of Mississippi (a former Chairman of the Republican National Committee) as a challenge to military retirees and the other Governors of these United States to produce the same support, Whittington sums it up very well by saying, “Let's get It On! Go ahead, ask your Governor to sign on.”

He and Sears are also adamant in stating that the power to secure these entitlements rests with the Congress: “If you don't energize Congress, it will never get done. Contact your members of Congress now.”

Thanks again Floyd and Jim for all your hard work and dedication. Once again you have set the example with, “Its The Right Thing To Do.”