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Health Benefits of Lemons and Limes

You Need a Tanker to Get There

Off the Hawaii Air National Guard Facebook page

Hawaii Air National Guard Photograph | click to enlarge

You may have seen our F-22 Raptors in the news headlines, as they travel all over the Pacific, but have you ever wondered how our fighter jets get there and back again?

Our long-ranged capabilities are only possible because of one simple thing – tanker gas.

The KC-135 Stratotanker is operated by a three-Airmen aircrew and it’s been doing a great job at sustaining all types of airframes for more than 50 years. Talk about a lasting legacy!

See the photographs

The 203d Air Refueling Squadron, Hawaii Air National Guard, has excelled in their mission since their activation in 1993.

Earlier Retiree News post: Check Six: KC-135s in Southeast Asia – 48 years ago

Retirees, Weigh a Pension Lump Sum Offer Carefully

From the Kiplinger website

Because of a recent IRS policy change, more retirees are likely to face that question in the near future. In March, the IRS opened the door for defined-benefit plans to offer lump-sum payouts to retirees who are currently receiving pension payments. That’s a reversal of a 2015 IRS announcement signaling its intent to prohibit those retiree lump-sum offers.

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Making Smarter Decisions About Where to Recover After Hospitalization

From the Kaiser Health News website

Every year, nearly 2 million people on Medicare — most of them older adults — go to a skilled nursing facility to recover after a hospitalization. But choosing the facility can be daunting, according to an emerging body of research.

Typically, a nurse or a social worker hands out a list of facilities a day or two — sometimes hours — before a patient is due to leave. The list generally lacks such essential information as the services offered or how the facilities perform on various measures of care quality.

Families scramble to make calls and, if they can find the time, visit a few places. Usually they’re not sure what the plan of care is (what will recovery entail? how long will that take?) or what to expect (will nurses and doctors be readily available? how much therapy will there be?).

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Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month Cultural Celebration

Off the Hawaii Army National Guard Facebook page

Video by Cpl. Aven Santiago/Released

Diversity is the strength of our organization” -Col. Roy Macaraeg, MNBG-East Commander during Asian American & Pacific Islander Cultural Celebration

MNBG-East Soldiers host Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month Cultural Celebration at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, May 4, 2019. Hawaii Army National Guard and Tennessee National Guard Soldiers performed various cultural perfomances such a Japanese Taiko drums number, a Filipino tinikling dance, a Korean Sogo Drum number, a Portugeuese paniolo cowboy line dance, and a Chinese Ribbon dance.

The deployed Soldiers got a taste of Hawaiian culture afterward during a Hawaiian luau with island style food. The Hawaiian entertainment group Ke Kani Malie also flew in for the festivities, performing for the Soldiers and teaching them some Hula moves. It was all part of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage month. The event was a celebration of the diversity within U.S. Army.

RMDs: When Do I Take Them and How Do I Calculate Them?

From the Kiplinger website

If you are close to reaching the age of 70½ and have an IRASEP IRA or a SIMPLE IRA, or other pre-tax employer-sponsored retirement accounts, you need to start thinking about the required minimum distributions that you will have to start taking from each account. If you have a Roth IRA, it does not require a withdrawal until after the death of the owner.

Calculating the amount is easy, and the required minimum distribution worksheets needed to determine the amount are located on the IRS website, or by checking out the links below. And you can double-check yourself by using a simple RMD calculator like the one on

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Could Alzheimer’s Spread Like Infection Throughout the Brain?

From the Health Day website

With findings that might alter the path of Alzheimer’s research, scientists say misfolded forms of two proteins appear to spread through patients’ brains similar to an infection.

The findings suggest that Alzheimer’s is a “double-prion” disorder. This discovery could help lead to new treatments that focus directly on prions, according to researchers from the University of California, San Francisco.

A prion is a misshapen protein that can force other copies of that protein into the same misfolded shape a/nd spread in the brain. It’s best known for its role in bovine spongiform encephalopathy — “mad cow” disease — and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), a degenerative brain disorder.

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Check Six: HIANG Pilots – 70 years ago

Hawaii Air National Guard Photograph | click to enlarge

This undated photograph shows 199th Fighter Squadron pilots in front of a Douglas B-26 Invader bomber.

Back row (L-R): 1st Lt Carlos W. Bonham, Capt. Alfred G. Shaheen, 2d Lt Letwell P.A. Duvauchelle, 1st Lt George R. Duncan, Capt Douglas E. Guy, Maj Valentine A. Siefermann, Maj Frank R. Harlocker, Lt Col William Nolan, 1st Lt Robert B. Maquire, 2d Lt George T. Harris

Front row (L-R): 2d Lt Hunter C. Parker, 2d Lt Leopold J. Brady, Capt Archibald M. Harrison, 2d Lt James F. Coleman, 2d Lt Frank J. Smith, 2d Lt. Tyler M. Harr, 1st Lt Jarrett F. Carr

William Nolan was the 199th Fighter Squadron commander at the time. When the HIANG operated out of then-Bellows Field in Waimanalo, he would lead teams to Hickam AFB to search for aircraft parts and supplies. These teams were called “Nolan and his 40 Thieves”.

Carlos Bonham joined the 199th Fighter Squadron in 1948. He served as a flight leader, and operations officer before becoming commander in 1951. Bonham was killed June 15, 1952 off Kauai in a midair collision while leading a flight of F-47 Thunderbolt “Jugs” fighters. Read an earlier Retiree News post on Carlos Bonham.

Among those in the photograph were the future leaders of the Hawaii Air National Guard. Valentine A. Siefermann would become the Commander, Hawaii Air National Guard, and later, the Adjutant General. Robert Maquire would also serve as the HIANG Commander.

These pilots would lead the 199th Fighter Squadron in the “Jug” era and its transition into the jet era as the HIANG started flying F-86 Sabers in 1954. A few would still be flying when the 199 FS converted to F-102 Delta Daggers in 1960.

Medicare for All Update: 19.05.19

From the Huffington Post website

As the drive to institute “Medicare for All” moves forward in Congress, Retiree News will post articles about the topic. It will be an important issue during the upcoming presidential election. However, there is little information about how MFA will affect your TRICARE coverage.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and his allies talk a lot about how “Medicare for All” would take back money from insurers and drug companies and use those savings to help make sure every American has generous health insurance. That is accurate.

But Sanders and his allies rarely mention that Medicare for All would also restrict the flow of money into the rest of the health care industry, including the parts that aren’t as easy to demonize in speeches.

At the top of that list are hospitals, which alone account for roughly one-third of the nation’s health care spending. No other sector, not even pharmaceuticals, rivals it. Under the Medicare for All proposals from Sanders as well as some other potential reforms getting attention these days, the federal government would limit payments to hospitals, quite possibly reducing their incomes significantly.

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Traveling in Retirement: Take Care of Health on the Road

From the Kiplinger website

Last winter, after David John, 64, had knee replacement surgery, the emergency room physician from Stafford Springs, Conn., decided to recuperate in Florida. He invited his then 84-year-old mother to join him. John hobbled around the airport with a cane, while his mother was in a wheelchair. When they landed, he counted 16 wheelchairs lined up at the gate.

Aging isn’t stopping older adults from being on the move. But you do need to be health-smart when you hit the road to travel. What if you are abroad, or across the U.S., and have an accident? What if a chronic illness flares up?

Sometimes, the fear of those health “what ifs” keeps people home. But that doesn’t have to be the case. “The good news is that airlines, cruises and resorts are better equipped than ever to deal with older adults who need help,” says John Schall, chief executive officer of Caregiver Action Network, a nonprofit for family caregivers.

Here’s what experts advise:

Help Your Neighbors Before, During and After Hurricanes

From the Ready.Gov website

Comprehensive preparedness requires the whole community to participate and FEMA places tremendous value on communities that embrace a local “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” approach. Neighbors Helping Neighbors empowers community leaders to involve and educate individuals from their community about simple steps one can take to become more prepared.

Forty-six percent of individuals expect to rely a great deal on people in their neighborhood for assistance within the first 72 hours after a disaster. When the whole community comes together to respond to and help recover from these emergencies – neighbor helping neighbor – we can often meet the needs of everyone.

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MSG may not be the nutritional bad guy it’s been made out to be

Monosodium glutamate (MSG, also known as sodium glutamate) is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, one of the most abundant naturally occurring non-essential amino acids. Glutamic acid is found naturally in tomatoes, grapes, cheese, mushrooms and other foods.

MSG is used in the food industry as a flavor enhancer with an umami taste that intensifies the meaty, savory flavor of food, as naturally occurring glutamate does in foods such as stews and meat soups. It was first prepared in 1908 by Japanese biochemist Kikunae Ikeda, who was trying to isolate and duplicate the savory taste of kombu, an edible seaweed used as a base for many Japanese soups. MSG as a flavor enhancer balances, blends, and rounds the perception of other tastes.

Continue at Wikipedia

Check Six: HIARNG Kupuna Klub Luncheon 19.04.25

Personal photograph used with permission | click to enlarge

This photograph show a small gathering of Hawaii Army National Guard retirees at 99 Ranch on April 25, 2019.

Back Row (L-R):  Nathan Watanabe, Bert Yanagida, Barney Ho, Kurt Jackson, Yale AlamaHubert Chang, Stephen Lum

Front Row (L-R):  David Aponte, Milton Yee, Vern Nakasone, Robert Inouye

Special thanks to Vern Nakasone who sent Retiree News this photograph of another Hawaii Army National Guard Kapuna Klub luncheon.

If anyone attends a retiree lunch or dinner, please share a photograph or two with Retiree News. Please include the names of those in the photograph; the Retiree News staff’s memories are fading. Email photographs to

Why You Should Create a My Social Security Account

From the U.S. News & World Report website

A Social Security account allows you to view your contributions to the Social Security program. You can also get a personalized estimate of your future Social Security payments in retirement. Periodically reviewing your Social Security record allows you to make sure your earnings are recorded correctly and to factor the likely payout into your retirement plans.

Here’s what you can do with a my Social Security account:

– Check your earnings record.

– See how much you have paid into Social Security.

– Get an estimate of your future Social Security payments.

– Find out how much you will qualify for if you become disabled.

– Determine what family members will receive if you die.

– Keep your account up to date by changing your address or direct deposit information.

– Request documentation, such as a replacement Social Security or Medicare card or benefit verification letter.

You can open a my Social Security account at Workers age 18 and older are eligible to create a my Social Security account. Be prepared to provide some personal information to verify your identity. When you open the account for the first time you will be prompted to answer a series of multiple-choice questions that might include inquiries about financial products you own and previous addresses. You can also add extra security to your account by electing to use a one-time code received via text message or email each time you log in.

Here’s why you should set up a my Social Security account