Charler Studebaker OBIT


STUDEBAKER, Charles R. Sr. Passed away peacefully at home, February 16th, surrounded by his loving family. Beloved husband of the love of his life, the late Beverly A. (Sacco). Loving father of Donna M. Nashawaty and her husband Frederick of Bristol, NH, Charles R. Studebaker, Jr. of Stoughton, Sharon L. Johnson and her husband TJ of Canton, David A. Studebaker of Canton, and Sandra J. Studebaker of Medfield. Son of the late Charles E. and Pauline Studebaker. Brother of Alberta Johnson, Richard Oden, John Lawson, Bonnie Boone, Donald Oden, Cynthia Spradlin, and the late Carla E. Dick, Buster Studebaker and Gene Goodsell. Son-in-law of Beatrice Sacco Draper of Canton. Brother-in-law of Donald Sacco of Canton and Paul Sacco of AZ. He was the loving and adoring grandfather to 15 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandson, and he leaves behind his adored German Shepherd “Max”. Visiting Hours at the Dockray & Thomas Funeral Home, 455 Washington St., CANTON, Friday, 4-8 pm. Funeral Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church, Canton, Saturday morning, February 23rd, at 11:30. Burial, Canton Corner Cemetery. He was a proud Navy Veteran who served during the Vietnam Era and Past Commander of the Massachusetts AMVETS. Donations may be made in his memory to Danna Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Ave., Boston, MA 02215. For complete obituary and guestbook see Dockray & Thomas Funeral Home (781) 828-0811

AMVETS Ritual will start @ 6:30 P.M.
Published in The Boston Globe on Feb. 20, 2019

TREA WASHINGTON UPDATE Newsletter (2/15/2019)

TREA “The Enlisted Association” Washington Update
• Appeals Act Effective 2/19/19, H.R. 333, H.R. 553 and VA website
TREA “The Enlisted Association” Washington Update
Appeals Act Effective 2/19/19, H.R. 333, H.R. 553 and VA website
TREA is working hard to keep you updated on issues with the Departments of Defense (DOD) and Veterans Affairs (VA).  TREA is sharing the information to assist you. Is the information helpful?  Do you have an issue with DOD or VA and would like to see it addressed? Please provide feedback on the newsletter content or let us know if you would like to see an issue covered that has not been covered in an upcoming newsletter.  
UPDATE: Since TREA January entry on the Appeals Modernization Act (AMA) 
February 19, 2019 – Effective date new Veteran appeals law – AMA
On February 14, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it will discontinue the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP), which provided eligible Veterans with early resolutions to their appealed claims, ahead of full implementation of the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (AMA) that takes effect Feb. 19, 2019.
Under the AMA, thousands of veterans, some of them trapped indefinitely in a complex system of trying to obtain benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, will get new options next week promised to deliver decisions in days or months, instead of years. This is the biggest change to appeals in decades.
The VA is set to implement a new process Tuesday, February 19, for veterans to appeal their claims for VA disability compensation – a system devised by VA, veterans organizations including TREA and lawmakers and approved by Congress in 2017. Under the current system, veterans wait three to seven years to reconcile their appeals. The new one could get veterans through the process in as little as 125 days, VA officials vowed.
The new system involves multiple avenues for veterans, including an option to appeal their claims with a higher-level adjudicator or directly with the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. Another option is to add information to their claim and appeal it with the same adjudicator who reviewed it. According to VA, officials will track the amount of time it takes veterans to get through each option. The agency will make that information public to help veterans decide which route to take.
For more information on Appeals Modernization, visit and
TREA Members please let us know if you plan to use the new Appeals process.
TREA Supporting Several Legislative Proposals
H.R. 333, The Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act.  TREA is pleased to continue to support and work with Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA) on legislation to eliminate the offset and permit Concurrent Receipt of retired military benefits and VA disability benefits. If enacted, TREA members would be permitted to receive both benefit payments.
H.R. 553, Ending the SBP-DIC Offset 
TREA continues to support efforts to allow military retiree survivors to receive full Survivor Benefit Plan benefits. Legislation introduced by Reps. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) and John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) would end the deduction of Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuities from Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) paid to survivors of fallen service members, also known as the “widows tax.”
The Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) was enacted into law in 1972. It includes a dollar-for-dollar offset of Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) from SBP, called the SBP/DIC offset, for surviving spouses of retired service members who voluntarily participated in the insurance annuity program, paid premiums, and then died of a service-connected issue. Post-9/11 active duty surviving spouses also are impacted. The offset affects over 63,000 military surviving spouses. 
TREA Members – Contact your Congressman and Senators and urge them to support both proposals. 

TREA Request – Members – Do you use VA’s website – VA.GOV?
TREA wants to hear from you.  VA completed its redesign of it main website in November 2018, by reorganizing and reframing web pages to make it easier for veterans to find the information they needed.
The project organized the many benefits veterans receive into eight content areas – healthcare, disability, education and training, careers and employment, pension, housing assistance, life insurance, and burials and memorials – plus a records section that helps vets find out what information the agency has on them. The site also gives users the ability to change their address information online, and that change will be made across the VA-wide system.  Previously change of address could only be done over the phone.
Members do you use or will you use the website VA.GOV? Provide us your feedback and explore the redesigned VA.GOV.

RAO Bulletin 14 FEB 2019 Availability Notice (Veteran News)

RAO BULLETIN 14 February 2019 PDF & HTML Editions THIS RETIREE ACTIVITIES OFFICE BULLETIN CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES Pg                   Article                                                Subject .                                                   * DOD *                                                   . 04 == U.S. Philippine Bases [18] —- (New Facility Opened on Luzon) 05 == SECDEF [17] —- (Patrick Shanahan’s Continue reading RAO Bulletin 14 FEB 2019 Availability Notice (Veteran News)

No experience? No problem! Vets can jump-start careers in IT with this new, free program

Veteran and Apprenti graduate Mike Cooper addresses the crowd at the 2018 Amazon Apprenti graduation. Also in attendance (from left to right) was Apprenti Executive DirectorJennifer Carlson, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Ardine Williams, Amazon’s senior vice president of business operations. (Photo provided by Apprenti)

Many veterans face a frustrating catch-22 upon exiting the military: Most jobs require experience, but it’s almost impossible to get experience without a job.
That’s where a program like Apprenti comes in. It removes the burden of experience and education by immediately placing qualifying veterans in relatively well-paying technology apprenticeships, where they will learn the skills required to succeed in the industry.
“A lot of those who come to us are not prepared to go back to college for four more years and use their GI Bill that way,” said Jennifer Carlson, executive director of both Apprenti and the Washington Technology Industry Association Workforce Institute, based in the state of Washington.

Want to get into a top school? Check out this nonprofit led by a Navy vet.

Lawmaker vows to protect student loan forgiveness program for troops, others
“They want to go to a job,” she continued. “This is a great transition point with a much more accelerated time investment to a career.”
It’s a simple process: Veterans take a free online assessment that tests them on both basic math abilities and soft skills like leadership qualities and critical thinking. They have two tries to pass it and must wait three months before trying again if they don’t.

Once they pass, the top one-third of candidates will be offered interviews at tech companies including but not limited to industry giants like Microsoft and Amazon. They will stay in this apprenticeship — earning a median salary of $51,000 per year, plus benefits — for a minimum of one year, and if all goes well, they will be offered a permanent job upon graduation.

The program is GI Bill-eligible, so veterans will be able to use the benefit to pay for living expenses. And some of the larger companies Apprenti places candidates in are even willing to help out with university tuition for veterans seeking a more formal education once they are hired on full-time.
According to Carlson, 85 percent of the participants Apprenti places are retained by the company with which they did their apprenticeship. She also said that 46 percent of placements begin the program without a degree of any kind, but they still land jobs with titles like software developer and system administrator.
“These are middle-skills jobs, not entry-level ones like a help desk,” she said. “These are jobs that have natural career progressions, and you’re going to grow with your company.”

These apprenticeships are different from internships, which usually require affiliation with a university, only last about three to five months and tend to be less focused on doing one specific job.
None of that applies to these apprenticeships, which are open to anyone 18-and-over, last at least a year and ensure you receive training in the role in which the company hopes to retain you.
“You are a hire. You are in that job. The company is paying you a training wage, which is where you get to earn and learn,” Carlson said. “Internship is try-before-you-buy, and apprenticeships are train-to-retain.”

A group of Apprenti participants pose in 2017 before they embark on their one-year apprenticeships with Amazon’s web-services division. (Photo provided by Apprenti)
Apprenti has only been around since late 2016, but Carlson said that the number of graduates these companies keep has already grown from a “handful or two” to the hundreds. She expects to place over 450 apprentices in tech jobs around the country in 2019.
Carlson said that 58 percent of Apprenti placements are veterans, many of who are feeling stuck, despite often having professional experience and some education.

“When we look at where competency lies, you have a lot of people who choose to go to second-tier colleges and who are working while in school,” Carlson said. “They have skills, they did the college thing, they just didn’t do STEM. So they have the competency to do the work, but they have no pathway in, short of going back to school and taking on that debt.”
The other part of this equation is the boon to the tech sector, which Carlson described as being severely understaffed across the board. She said that the industry currently has 2 million vacancies, yet only 65,000 students a year are graduating with the necessary computer-science degrees to fill those roles.
Through her experience with the group based in Washington state, Carlson determined that tech companies were reeling both from this labor shortage and a lack of “people who were actually work-ready coming to them, which they didn’t feel many college students were.”
Enter Apprenti.

“Our thesis is that we can find highly competent people, without regard to pedigree,” Carlson said.
So, if you’re a veteran unsure what to do next and are interested in tech jobs — or just want to find work with benefits that could pay a median annual salary of $78,000 after a year of on-the-job training — Apprenti might be exactly what you need to jump-start a new career.

Disabled vets scammed in $2 million bribery scheme

The VA official pushed disabled vets in the program to attend poor-quality schools despite red flags and regardless of the vets’ individual interests or educational needs. (Master Sgt. Barry Loo/Air Force)

A Veterans Affairs Department official steered disabled veterans to questionable schools in exchange for bribes from school officials, according to the Justice Department.
James King, the VA official in question, on Tuesday pleaded guilty to accepting about $160,000 in bribes. In return, law enforcement officials say, he directed participants in VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program to Atius Technology Institute and Eelon Training Academy, generating more than $2 million in VA revenue for the schools.
Both schools were the subject of repeated complaints from veterans, who said they provided a poor-quality education, and both misled the VA about their costs and program details.

Veterans are committing suicide in VA parking lots: report

Vets interested in STEM degrees could get more GI Bill money in 2019
Yet King pushed disabled vets in the program to attend the schools, despite these red flags and regardless of the vets’ individual interests or educational needs.
VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program provides education and career help to disabled veterans, including counselors to advise them and help paying for the education and training they need to land a good job in their chosen field.

King’s co-conspirators in the bribery ring were Albert Poawui, Atius’ owner; Sombo Kanneh, one of Poawui’s employees at Atius; and Michelle Stevens, who owned Eelon. Atius claimed to specialize in information-technology courses, while Eelon claimed to provide digital-media training.

Poawui and Kanneh admitted in their pleas that they had struck a deal with King in which Poawui would give King 7 percent of all payments from the VA to Atius. King continued to help place veterans in Atius programs despite “repeated complaints about the poor quality of education” there, according to the DoJ news release.
As part of this arrangement, Poawui and Stevens made numerous false claims to the VA about what was really going on at Atius and Eelon.
Powaui lied to the VA about the number of hours per week veterans were able to attend Atius classes, saying they were enrolled in up to 32 hours a week of class time, even though Atius only offered a maximum of six weekly class hours.
Stevens made a fake attendance sheet for eight students showing they were in Eelon classes that they did not attend on specific days, even including dates on which no classes were held.

The VA was clearly suspicious of both schools, as it audited Atius and had “an ongoing investigation into Eelon following complaints by students about the poor quality of education,” according to the DoJ release.
The VA’s Office of the Inspector General partnered with the FBI’s Washington Field Office for the investigation.
The four participants in this scheme cost the VA $2,217,259.44 between August 2015 and December 2017, the DoJ reported. Poawui paid King more than $155,000 in that time period, with Stevens chipping in another $3,000.
King pleaded guilty to charges of bribery, wire fraud and falsification of documents. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday, Feb. 15.
Poawui was sentenced to 70 months in prison with three years of supervised release and was also ordered to pay the VA back $1.5 million. Kanneh was sentenced to 20 months in prison with three years of supervised release and was ordered to forfeit the $1.5 million she helped embezzle, plus an extra $113,227.30 in restitution.
Stevens was sentenced to 30 months in prison with three years of supervised release and ordered to forfeit $83,000 and pay the VA $83,000.

Nicole Navas, a DoJ spokeswoman, said her department does “not have any additional statements beyond our pleadings and previous press announcements on this case.”