|Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he is
continuing to push the Department of Defense, the U.S. Air Force and the
Department of Veterans Affairs to implement the law which authorized veterans
to travel to Hawaii on military flights.
“Although I was happy when President Clinton signed the law allowing
our vets to fly to Hawaii on MAC flights, it seems the federal bureaucracy
is fighting us every step of the way,” said Faleomavaega. The bill
was signed into law in October, 1998, and the Department of Defense did
not issue its regulation implementing the law until March 2000, nearly
one and one-half years later.
“As far as I can tell, only one veteran has flown to Hawaii under
this new law,” noted the Congressman. “The reports I am getting now are
that the Air Force has questions about the law. In an effort to get
the problem fixed, I have written and called the Air Force again, written
and called the Department of Veterans Affairs, and I have personally talked
with Senator Inouye, who indicated he will personally take the matter up
The Air Force has informed the Congressman that on average there
are ten seats per week available to space available passengers between
American Samoa and Hawaii on military flights. “I hope to get this whole
process moving by next week,” said Faleomavaega.
Veterans are reminded that to travel to Hawaii on a military flight
for a medical appointment, they will need a certification from the VA,
and they should then check in with the Air Mobility Command (formerly MAC)
representative at the Tafuna airport. Anyone denied boarding after
doing these two things is requested to report the details to the Congressman’s
office in Utulei.