Over the last couple of weeks I have received phone calls, emails, and had conversations with individuals about the Bipartisan Budget Deal of 2013 passed by Congress earlier this month.  Several have commented to me that there is a provision within this bill that affects our Military and Veteran Community.  Others have questioned how this will affect their VA education benefits.


In the interest of informing the OSU Community and outside community members who support our Student Veterans, I have researched several websites looking for the language of the bill.  Please understand my reporting on this information does not constitute my office agreeing or disagreeing with any or all of the provision of the bill.  In addition, please be advised the bill has not been signed by President Obama.  Additionally, other bills are in process that could change the outcome of this bill.  In my research, I was not able to find a full text of the bill.  However, I was able to find this information.


According to each of the websites listed below the following language is in the bill.


–        American troops who have retired and are under the age of 62 would have cost-of-living(COLA) adjustments cut by 1% each year under the new deal.


In addition, according to the websites this cut is one of many intended to reduce the overall deficient by 23 Billion over the next 10 years.


Based upon this language many have asked me how this could affect their VA Education Benefits.  At this point, it appears there is not language that will change or stop VA education benefits.  However, if that changes I will be glad to report out on those changes as they are made public.


I hope this help answers some of the questions some of you may had surrounding the Bi-Partisan Budget Deal of 2013 and VA education benefits.


Thank you and have a great day.


Gus L. Bedwell

Veteran Resources Coordinator


The American Legion Website:



The Washington Times:



Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America:





1) Central Oregon Veterans Outreach’s Veterans Reintegration Program needs your help!

We are seeking new candidates for our jobs program. If you know a veteran who is unemployed or underemployed and is struggling to meet their monthly expenses and to keep a roof over their heads, we would like to meet them. We will come to them if they can’t come in to Bend.

They can call the jobs program at COVO 541-383-2793 extension 106 or talk to Ruth Clark @ Central Oregon Veterans Outreach 541-383-2793 ex 107

2) COCC’s Small Business Development Center would also like some more veterans to take advantage of their special program to help vets start, run & expand their own businesses.

Thank you & Merry Christmas
David Fairclo


The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests will soon be filling a permanent position for a Procurement Technician at the Supervisor’s Office with a duty station of Springerville, Arizona. This position offers a challenging career opportunity for an individual seeking experience on a busy and complex forest.


TO EXPRESS INTEREST IN THE PERMANENT POSITION: Please fill out the attached outreach response form and send to Joe Vieth, Supervisory Administrative Management Specialist, jvieth@fs.fed.us by COB January 10, 2014.


Provides clerical and technical support to Contract Specialists on tasks such as soliciting offers; conducting discussions with contractors; evaluating quotes, bids, and proposals; compiling necessary data or reports on contractor performance; and awarding, administering and closing out contracts. The employee receives procurement requests for services and work which are covered under established fixed price, time and materials and other delivery order contracts.  Reviews requests for accuracy and completeness and assures that requested work or services fall within the scope of the contract.  Resolves or clarifies requirements with technical personnel as required.  Maintains contents of solicitation and contract folders, with oversight.  Reviews and assures contracts comply with governing procurement regulations, policies and procedures.  Assists in the administration of on-going contracts by performing follow-up or expediting deliveries.  Monitors progress and takes necessary action to identify problems or deviations.  Brings unusual situations or problems to the attention of contract specialists.  Prepares invoice transmittals to submit for payment.  Prepares routine contract files for closeout upon completion of contracts in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulations and agency policy.  Reviews files for completeness, and follows up on unfinished documents in order to complete and close out the files.  Makes purchases under the Micro-Purchase threshold via a government purchase card.  Manages the facility warehouse and mailroom.  Performs other duties as assigned.


The Apache and the Sitgreaves National Forests were administratively combined in 1974 and are now managed as one unit from the Forest Supervisor’s Office. The forest is 2,110,000 acres in size and is located in east-central Arizona along the Mogollon Rim and the White Mountains. The forest covers portions of Coconino, Navajo, Apache, and Greenlee counties; borders the Coconino, Tonto, and Gila National Forests; and borders the White Mountain Apache and San Carlos Indian Reservations.

The Apache-Sitgreaves has 34 lakes and reservoirs and more than 1080 miles of perennial rivers and streams – more than can be found in any other Arizona National Forest. The White Mountains contain the headwaters of several Arizona Rivers including the Black, the Little Colorado, and the San Francisco. The forest ranges in elevation from 3500 feet near Clifton to nearly 11,500 feet on Mount Baldy. The congressionally proclaimed Mount Baldy, Escudilla, and Bear Wallow wilderness areas and the Blue Range Primitive Area make the forest one of America’s premier backcountry Forests.

The management concerns on the Apache-Sitgreaves include the health and restoration of the forest, watersheds, and ecosystems, and providing a sustainable recreation program.  Over one-quarter of the forest (538,000 acres) was burned by the 2011 Wallow Fire. The highest priority work is associated with rehabilitation of the burned area, reducing the dangers associated with wildfire in the urban interface, forest restoration, and Forest Plan Revision implementation (Forest Plan scheduled to be completed in mid-2014). There will be continued opportunities to work with forest leadership as they incorporate restoration and recovery into the forest-wide program of work.

There are a total of 96 active allotments covering the majority of the forest. Fish and wildlife habitats in and around allotments for federally-listed species include Mexican spotted owl, Mexican wolf, Southwestern willow flycatcher, Chiricahua leopard frog, and numerous fish species including the Apache trout, Gila trout and loach minnow.


Springerville is located in East-Central Arizona on U.S. 60 and State Highways 180-191, approximately 220 miles Northeast of Phoenix and sits at an elevation of 7,000 feet. It was originally established in 1879. Combined with a mild climate and proximity to a wealth of outdoor recreation year round, ranging from hunting and fishing to winter skiing, Springerville is a haven for recreational enthusiasts in Arizona and New Mexico.  The towns of Springerville and Eagar are contiguous and make up the area referred to as Round Valley. A variety of industries shape the economic profile. In the early days, cattle and sheep ranching were principal economic activities, but these have gradually been augmented by tourism, agriculture, construction, forestry, and retail sales in support of the 6,000 local residents.

Springerville and Eagar offer a range of facilities to their residents, including a library, hospital, museum, and numerous athletic facilities as well as a campus for Northland Pioneer College. Sunrise Ski area, located on the White Mountain Apache Reservation, is 30 minutes away. Springerville is also home to Casa Malpais, a nationally recognized archeological ruin.  There are several local restaurants offering a variety of food and drink.  Recently opened is the XA Saloon and Dance Hall, a traditional country western saloon frequented by John Wayne in older times.

There are two supermarkets and a variety of convenience stores located in the Round Valley.  There is also one drug store, one Alco (mini Wal-Mart style) store, automotive parts stores and several specialty stores located in the Round Valley area. Shopping in Pinetop-Lakeside and Show Low 45 miles away includes Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Home Depot, larger grocery stores, clothing and shoe stores, and many other specialty stores.  There are two banks located in Eagar and one bank in Springerville.  There are seven motels ranging from Best Western to local owned.





Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests: http://www.fs.usda.gov/asnf/

Apache County Chamber of Commerce: http://www.apachecounty.com/

Town of Springerville: http://www.springervilleaz.gov/index.html

Town of Eagar: http://www.eagaraz.gov/

Town of Pinetop-Lakeside:  http://ci.pinetop-lakeside.az.us/

Town of Show Low:  http://www.ci.show-low.az.us/newsite/homerun/




Procurement Technician GS-1106-5/6 (Permanent Position)

Springerville, AZ

Respond by January 10, 2014









   USFS    BLM    Other

Type of Appointment:

   Permanent    Temporary    Term    VRA    PWD    Other

Current Title/Series/Grade:

Current Location (Region/Forest/District):






Briefly explain your interest in this position and attach a resume:














FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  Joe Vieth, Supervisory Administrative Management Specialist (928) 333- 6261.

Please return your completed outreach form by COB January 10, 2014 to Joe Vieth by email at jvieth@fs.fed.us



We all see the veritable flood of timber position outreaches flowing through our inboxes, and here is another.  This one stands out from the rest, though.  So if you are a potential candidate or know one, please read on!


The Superior National Forest is advertising a GS-460-9/11 Timber Management Assistant position located in Cook, Minnesota.  Here is a chance to live in beautiful northeastern Minnesota, with the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and lakes galore to fish and enjoy, many small towns full of people that are truly “Minnesota nice,” and affordable homes and land.  On top of that, the Superior National Forest is a great place to work.  The Forest has a diverse program of work, with timber and vegetation management, wilderness and recreation, and mineral development being major focus areas.


The vacancy opens today, December 5, 2013 and Merit closes December 18 and Demo closes December 16.  Links to the announcements are below:


https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/356695900 (Merit) open Dec 5-18, 2013.

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/356696200 (Demo)open Dec 5-16, 2013.



This position is located on the West Zone of the Forest, which consists of three ranger districts: LaCroix, Laurentian and Kawishiwi.  The position works across the zone based on the LaCroix Ranger District in Cook, MN.   The West Zone traditionally generates more than 60% of the Forest’s offering of timber volume, which in recent years has averaged around 60 million board feet.


The position works closely with two GS-11 silviculturists and one GS-11 Forest Service Representative to lead the vegetation management program for the Laurentian (Aurora), Kawishiwi (Aurora) and LaCroix (Cook) Ranger Districts.  Core responsibilities include: development of annual program of work, establishment of timber sale program and production goals, and setting priorities, oversight of sale offer schedule, packaging, layout & marking, appraisal and offering. The incumbent will work closely with forest timber staff including the forest Contracting Officer as well as district resource staff areas of planning, wildlife and others during project planning, sale preparation and implementation.


For more information about the position or this great part of the word feel free to contact me.



Andrew K. Johnson          District Ranger

LaCroix Ranger District    Superior National Forest

320 North Highway 53     Cook Minnesota, 55723

(O) 218-666-0046               (C) 218-269-1610



New Rates for Compensation and Pension Benefits in 2014

WASHINGTON – Veterans, their families and survivors receiving disability compensation and pension benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs will receive a 1.5 percent cost-of-living increase in their monthly payments beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

“We’re pleased there will be another cost-of-living increase for Veterans, their families and their survivors,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “The increase expresses in a tangible way our Nation’s gratitude for the sacrifices made by our service-disabled and wartime Veterans.”

For the first time, payments will not be rounded down to the nearest dollar.  Until this year, that was required by law.  Veterans and survivors will see additional cents included in their monthly compensation benefit payment.

For Veterans without dependents, the new compensation rates will range from $130.94 monthly for a disability rated at 10 percent to $2,858.24 monthly for 100 percent.  The full rates are available on the Internet at www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/rates-index.asp.

The COLA increase also applies to disability and death pension recipients, survivors receiving dependency and indemnity compensation, disabled Veterans receiving automobile and clothing allowances, and other benefits.

Under federal law, cost-of-living adjustments for VA’s compensation and pension must match those for Social Security benefits.  The last adjustment was in January 2013 when the Social Security benefits rate increased 1.7 percent.

In fiscal year 2013, VA provided over $59 billion in compensation benefits to nearly 4 million Veterans and survivors, and over $5 billion in pension benefits to more than 515,000 Veterans and survivors.

For Veterans and separating Servicemembers who plan to file an electronic disability claim, VA urges them to use the joint DoD/VA online portal, eBenefits.  Registered eBenefits users with a premium account can file a claim online, track the status, and access a variety of other benefits, including pension, education, health care, home loan eligibility, and vocational rehabilitation and employment programs.

For more information about VA benefits, visit www.benefits.va.gov, or call 1-800-827-1000.