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Counseling, TRICARE and VA Care

Ask Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I have a question...My husband has been a Marine for almost 20 years; However this is the 2nd marriage for us both. We have only been married for 3 years and I still don't know that much about military rules and such...We have 3 young children, boy/girl twins that are 3 and a 1-year old baby girl. I love my husband a lot but we also fight a lot...I would really like to go to marriage counseling. He says we cannot go because he would lose his security clearance for his job with the Marines. So I said I would go to therapy by myself and he said that wouldn't work either -- that he would still lose his clearance. Please help! Sometimes I feel like our marriage is great but other times I feel like we need some counseling. I don't want a divorce but I don't know what else to do...I really do love him and want it to work for our children's sake...I would really appreciate it if you could offer some advice!

Thank You,
CK

Dear CK,

If either you or your husband goes to marriage or individual counseling it will not affect his security clearance. I proposed this question to several Marines and my husband too. Everyone said they are never asked questions about counseling on their security clearance updates. On the other hand, I can understand your husband's concerns. He probably don't want anyone from his unit to find out that he is talking to a professional therapist. Because of this, I would recommend that you contact Military OneSource at 800-342-9647. They will connect you with a therapist in your local community. The services are free. I applaud your willingness to seek services even if your husband does not want to. It's important for you to feel supported, gain insight and information and even grow personally too. I wish you all the best. Thank you for taking the time to write me. Stay in touch.

Sincerely,
Ms. Vicki

Hi Ms. Vicki,

I am a divorced spouse of a veteran who is disabled. I am 60 years old and disabled as well, but been denied Social Security benefits which I am appealing. However, I live in a different state than my spouse, I am unable to work, and live on alimony. Recently, I was told that I could get health care through the VA. Is this true and how do I go about getting any help? I have three teeth that need to be pulled along with other medical problems. I have no health care right now and need it badly. Thanks for any help you can give.

God Bless,
LZ

Dear LZ,

This is a very important question. It deeply saddens me to know that people are living without health care, especially when they really need it. I won't definitively answer the question for fear of giving you the wrong answer - I would just advise you to please contact the VA by phone or visit their website for more information (800-827-1000 or www.va.gov). When you get your answer please write me and let me know. It will be good information for me and my readers to pass on to others.

Sincerely,
Ms. Vicki

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Dear Ms. Vicki,

My husband has been retired from the air force since 1992 to 1994. He wants a divorce and I am his third wife.  Because of the divorce I'll be losing the TRICARE Prime health insurance. Is there any hope that I can retain these benefits? Wife number 1 who was with him during his military service waived her allotment to his military retirement pay and TRICARE insurance.

Sincerely,
Soon To Divorce

Dear Soon,

Thank you so much for the letter. To my knowledge, you will not be able to retain the health care benefit after the divorce. However, please contact TRICARE for more information and let me know what happens. I hope you are well and I'm sorry to hear about your divorce. The number for TRICARE is 877-874-2273.

Sincerely,
Ms. Vicki

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Readers write in:

Dear Ms. Vicki,

It would be nice to address the infidelity issue with many military relationships. Of course, this is can be a problem in the civilian side but these long separations magnifies the need for intimacy. When our men and women leave to go overseas there are so many who are unfaithful and spouses or significant others are left to cope with the emotional fallout. As a military wife for 17 yrs, this is something I continue to hear about through friends and other military spouses. Although we are a Navy family, I am sure we are not the only service that has this situation. It would be nice to see the bases offer more marriage enrichment classes or even weekend retreats to strengthen our couples. Another place to offer information, through the Family readiness group meetings? Just a thought :-)

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I am writing to you because I want the Military World to know about Pay Pal/Bill me Later creditors. My husband is deployed in Afghanistan. This is his 3rd deployment in the last 6 years. As usual, he has left me to take care of everything, and my first order of business was to make sure that I contacted all of our creditors, which were not many, and let them know of his deployment and send a certified letter asking for the reduced APR rate of 6% cap per the Soldiers and Sailors Act. After about a month I had not heard back from Pay Pal/Bill me Later, therefore I decided to give them a call and find out the status of my request. They told me that they do not honor this type of request. They said that I was making a request on behalf of my spouses deployment and that I was not being deployed therefore they did not have to abide by this law. They told me they were not obligated to contact me and let me know of their decision because I would have eventually found out when I received the statement in the mail and saw that the APR had not changed. I was appalled by the response that I received. I decided to call back and ask for a supervisor and I was told the same thing. I can't believe such a popular company such as Pay Pal would have this type of attitude especially against those in the military. If I had known they were like this I would have never even applied for their line of credit. I closed the account yesterday and told them that I would no longer need their services. Anyone who does not respect or appreciate those in the Military should not be, in my opinion, patronized by those in the military.

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Contributor

Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.

Ms. Vicki appears regularly on Military.com and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Looking for advice about your military life? Email Ms. Vicki here. Find Ms. Vicki on Facebook here.  Find Ms. Vicki on Twitter here.

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