The chairman of the House Veteran’s Affair Committee is looking forward to meet and engage in conversation with past and current veterans who are enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs health care. They also are committing to meet with veterans who have used the facility in the previous two years or even assigned to the facility VA care physician. They hope to meet with these veterans by October 2018. The House primary care providers will be responsible of the veteran’s basic health consultation and care needs. Additionally, they are trained to refer some of them to specialists. These specialists could be from a variety of sources. Some have working relationship with the VA and some can be found outside networks of private sector specialists and doctors. The Private Sector providers will be contracted to stand in until the VA recruits enough physicians to serve the veterans, if need be. Earlier this week, the three largest and most recognized veteran service organizations agreed with the committee Chairman, Rep. Phil Roe when he commented that he did not find any part of his draft legislation to be in replacement of the controversial ‘choice’ program. The Choice program gives driving distance to the closest VA Centre and then gives time for the VA to wait for appointments. The committee chairman, Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., says that it’s a gift to be able to see that the VA thriving in its role of being the central coordinator of care for enrolled veteran patients sustained and restored.
Demands and complains of the VA motto being outdated, sexist and exclusionary are given by a group of veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq, and want the Department of Veterans Affairs work on it. The organization having an approximate of 425,000 members, the Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans of America is advocating the whole year for its expanding services for the women veterans among them. Earlier this week, the veteran group renewed its effort by writing a letter to the Veterans Affairs secretary, David Shulkin and appealed to the lawmakers and the other VA officials in the department. They believe the effort will challenge the motto and women will be recognized more. The Executive Director of IAVA, Allison Jaslow said that the top priority of IAVA this year is to increase the recognition and support for the female veterans. She continued to explain about how a key component of the priority has been on the Veteran Affairs department, seeking them for a change in the motto that can embrace equality among both sexes, especially that now that one of the arguably challenges veterans come across are cultural barriers. Many of the women veterans feel invisible because of that. The VA motto since the year 1959, has been a quote deprived from the former president, Abraham Lincoln. “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.” The letter to the VA sectary, Shulkin, on Tuesday, he was addressed that the department should replace the outdated motto with something that contains an inclusive message and mission that would acknowledge and recognize women veterans among them. A VA spokesman, Curt Cashour responded to the IAVA criticism of the VA motto and said that the VA has been having the utmost respect for the sacrifices and services of all the veterans among them, and that included even the female veterans. He later said that Lincoln’s words are just Lincoln’s words. Jaslow said that the IAVA has not yet brought to the table the suggestion of motto replacement, but its replacement would need make a reflection and representation of the total population of veterans. The VA data has it that out of the 21 million veterans in the nation, among them are two million women.
Ever since the creation of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ office in 1925, they have always been credited with major medical advancements and achievements. On top of the accomplishments list: having made the first successful liver transplant, shingles vaccine and the cardiac pacemaker. The Achievements have won the hearts of a group of lawmakers and are confident that the VA researchers can find out more on marijuana if they shift some attention to it. The highest ranked and enlisted soldier to have served in the Congress led the Lawmakers on the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs to call upon the initiation of the research by the VA into the efficacy of medical marijuana. Last week on Thursday, the Lawmakers cited in a letter to the VA secretary, David Shulkin, that the opioid crisis in the country and the growth in demand from the majority of the veterans and also major veterans service organizations that wish for cannabis to be legally available and used in treatment in chronic pains and post-traumatic stress disorders among patients. The veteran’s Lawmakers wrote the VA research into medical cannabis as “integral to the advancement of health care for veterans and the nation.” In the letter, the Lawmakers wrote about the VA research that there is a possibility research that can help inform not only veterans but every one’s care. This was confirmed by the press secretary for Democrats on the Committee, Griffin Anderson. The signatories of the letter on Thursday included nine Democrats and an independent. They are: Rep. Tim Walz, who is the ranking Democrat on the Committee and former Command Sergeant Major with the Minnesota Army National Guard, Reps. Scott Peters, D-Calif., Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., Mark Takano, D-Calif., Ann Kuster, D-N.H., Kilili Sablan, I-Northern Mariana islands, Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, Kathleen Rice, D-NY., Julia Brownley, D-Calif., and J. Luis Correa, D-Calif.
A veteran is defined by any person that has served their country in a time of war. There are many, many, veterans that have given up their lives for the sake of our country. The very least we can do is honor them and offer them services, whether it be in life or death. The list of issues that veterans are susceptible to is growing. Poverty, homelessness, lack of substantial health care are just a few issues, among others. There are approximately 21.8 billion veterans currently navigating post service life. For those that have given the ultimate sacrifice, it is our duty to care for them in death. They have taken extraordinary measures for us to be safe and we should return the favor by ensuring that their body will be taken care of how they wanted them to be. All veterans have the legal right to be buried in a national cemetery. Unless specified, their headstone is made of marble or granite. No charges will be incurred when opening or closing the grave, a vault or liner, or setting the marker in a national cemetery. Additionally, markers are made available, with options to add personal effects. In the standard setting, the inscriptions show the veteran’s name, branch of service, year of birth, year of death, but often includes an emblem of belief, rank, and any decorations earned. At an additional cost, extra items can be included like nicknames and terms of endearment, however they have to be approved by the VA. A United States flag is provided, during the burial at no cost. The flag is used to drape the casket and for a cremation it will accompany the urn of a deceased Veteran who had served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces. This is done to honor all the memories of the Veteran’s military service to his or her country. For veterans who had dishonorably discharged the VA will furnish a burial flag for memorialization. When the VA offers the flag for the burial of a veteran or a service member, the next of kin is given the flag by the department as a keepsake. This is after it has been used in the burial. When there is no next of kin then a close friend of the deceased will be given the flag but only if they make a request for it. Families of veterans can donate the flags, if they so choose. There is an option to be buried at sea, which is an option for all veterans and close dependents. The option is offered by the US Coast Guard and the Navy. A flag must be there and if it was supplied by the family, it will be returned to them, but if supplied by the Navy it will not be given to the family. The only challenge with the sea burial is that it’s done at the convenience of the military personnel and the family might not have a chance to witness the burial. In the United States we are constantly revising to ensure that our loved ones (and their families!) are receiving the most honorable burial as well as making sure that the process is respectful. It is not a perfect system, but it is an answer to assuage the grief that permeates a death.
A veteran is eligible for several benefits through the government. The benefits the veteran receive include the following but aren’t limited to, disability compensation, pension, education and training, loans, healthcare, insurance, and vocational rehabilitation, employment, and a proper burial. There’s a type of pension that’s entitled Aid and Attendance. The program offers help for elderly or disabled veterans who can’t adequately take care of themselves. The pension is to assist in paying for their long-term care: home care, nursing homes or assisted living. This benefit is paid to the veteran monthly together with their pension and cannot be offered without the pension benefits. The government realizes that elderly veterans are in need of another person to do personal functions needed for everyday living like bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting themselves from the potential dangers of one’s daily living environment. There is also another type of pension that is called the Housebound Benefits. This extra monthly monetary pension allowance can be added to a veteran’s monthly pension if the veteran is confined to their immediate premises due to permanent disability. The other qualification would be that their annual family net income should be below the limits that are set by law, the limits are as follows: wartime service veteran with no dependents: below $15,773 and w artime service veteran with one dependent: below $19,770. Many elderly veterans are not quite aware of the difference between these two benefits that are available to them, the Aid & Attendance and the Housebound Pension. The main difference between these two is the care and also the payment rates. In order to get an Aid and Attendance pension, the concerned veteran must need assistance to perform the daily living activities like dressing or bathing. While for the Housebound pension, he or she must be confined substantially in their immediate premise due to permanent disability. The VA benefits for the elderly are able to cater for a portion of expenses of the nursing home care. This is only if the veteran or the surviving spouse has been catering for the expenses from their pocket. Though you will find in some rare cases, where assisted living expenses are not reimbursed by the insurance company, that’s when the VA pension comes in to assist and allow the veteran or the surviving spouse to live an affordable comfortable and assisted living. The VA can also give caregivers (spouses or close family members) tax free monetary assistance that is supposed to assist them to care of the veterans or the surviving spouse. The claimant though must be able to meet the eligibility requirements that have been set by the VA in order to get the money. The veterans are not limited to pick a VA facility, they can pick any nursing home that they deem to be most convenient to them. Also, the provider doesn’t need to be a VA certified one, and any physician is able to document the care that is needed by the claimant. The nursing facilities costs will then be catered for by the VA Department, which applies to veterans and living spouses who are in independent living or assisted living. One option for housing is state-owned veteran homes. The VA’s are licensed through the state. and are able to meet the skilled or intermediate nursing services that are offered in the private sector nursing homes in their state. Some of the services that are offered by the Veterans’ homes include but aren’t limited to being help with bathing and dressing, meal prep, medication reminders, transportation, companionship, housekeeping and more! In the United States, we are constantly revising to ensure that our veterans are receiving the most honorable living situations and quality of life.
Last Tuesday more than 30 veterans who fought in the Vietnam War and are living in Germany were given pins by the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post. This was done as a tribute and recognition of their service. The pins are just a small part of the commemoration effort being made to the Vietnam War veterans that was signed into effect by the former President of the United States, Barack Obama back in 2012. All this was done so as to recognize the troops who fought in Vietnam and most of the times received unwelcoming U.S. public when they came back home. The veterans were awarded at the Grafenwoehr Veterans Appreciation Day event on base. James Joyce, VFW Tower Post 10692 commander, commented during the event that the Vietnam veterans for many years have gone unrecognized by many. The event took place at the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria. The garrison is associated with more than 1,600 veterans of wars, starting from the WWII to the modern day conflicts. Most of the veterans who had been deployed in Germany had opted to remain in the country, and among them was Baldemar Guevera, who met his wife when he was stationed here with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Amberg. Guevera commented that nowadays the military men and women in the US are well loved and the situation has greatly improved compared to their times. He appreciated the government for showing more respect and making plenty of effort in acknowledging what the veterans did and what the current service members are doing. The VFW staff engaged actively with the veterans during the ceremony, active duty soldiers who are stationed on the particular base also had a chance to interact with the veterans and each had something to share about their experience.
More than seventy veterans involved in the Vietnam War and an approximate of 250 community members came together in Martinsville City Hall on the Friday night of last week to participate in a Fall Foliage Festival first. The gathering program was to give overdue appreciations to the gentlemen and women who took part in the serving in the deadly and controversial conflict. The occasion begun on a very good note with the 250th playing of Taps by Bugles across America and later, after the reading of the names of the fallen soldiers of Morgan County, which occurs on the square at 6:55 pm, on a weekly basis, each Friday. The history of the United States’ involvement and happenings in Vietnam was recounted by the American Legion 230 Commander John McGee after the presentation of colors and an opening prayer that kicked off the occasion. The recount given by John McGee stretched from the US sending in advisers back in 1950 to where the United States withdrawal of its troops in the year 1975. John stated that the stats and the numbers is not reliable to scoop truth, since they were never afforded the joyous and best homecoming welcomes of other wars. He requested for the Vietnam veterans present to be saluted. Following the program of the event, McGee, John continued to state that he has happily surprised to see the turnout of the veterans at the event. It was a routine for the Vietnam Veterans to show up for the event through the back door and maybe interact just a little bit, then leave whenever the Legion would hold events for the veterans to interact with each other. This time round, it has been a healing time. After John McGee’s speech, Rick Baum, who is the Morgan County Veterans Service Officer and a Marine Corps and Vietnam Veteran addressed the veterans concerning the services offered by his office along with his personal trails as much as soldiers after service are concerned. He said that is was a very special chance and privilege for him to serve the way he does. He also talked about his two sons who served in Iraq and whenever they come home, they are never the same. Bringing out a hat, Baum added that the hat he was having was a belonging to his son Benjamin, who had died four years just after getting home from war. His son was 29 years of age and passed on due to cardiac issues. From this, Baum addressed to veterans, of how it is of importance to take good care of themselves, more specifically when they are out of the service. An illness like heart disease and diabetes are the ones mostly found among veterans.
It was announced earlier this week by the Global UAV Technologies that the Fallen American Veterans Foundation, Inc. (“FAVF”), had chosen to responsible in the providence of the survey services and custom UAV solutions to be of help in the recovering and searching of the personnel belonging to the U.S. Military who are Missing in Action (MIA) in the whole world. A commitment is made by the Global UAV that it will make available its specialized UAV-MAGTM systems, equipment and other technological devices that can be of help in the search and recovering the missing aircrafts and the crews that were involved. Funding and logistical support have been received from the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Department of Defence and private donor among others, for the Global UAV for their committed projects of the search and recovery. Why choose the Global UAV? It has a proven record, good and quality experience in its field personnel and the survey methodologies used in harsh climatic environment like the high arctic, and in international jurisdiction with specialized UAV- based geophysical liquids. The set main participation partner from the Global UAV Group for the searching and recovering projects will be the Pioneer Aerial Surveys Ltd. The locating of a US Coast Guard J2F-4 Grumman Duck will be the first search and recovering project. The plane is at the moment covered in ice in a remote area in Greenland after it crashed on the 29th of November in 1942. The CEO of Global UAV Technologies, Michael Burns stated that they are so happy and proud to have a partnership with the Fallen American Veterans Foundation in the searching and recovering missions. He continued to praise the organization of how it puts much effort and enough resources on the ground because of their commitment of leaving no man behind on the ground and the spirit applies to all the US military personnel that are missing in action. He guaranteed everyone that the set survey technology and remote location work capabilities are of a world class level and that they are pleased to utilize the equipment in the important mission of the recovering effort. The Fallen American Veterans Foundation’s Board Chairman and Expedition Lead, Lou Sapienza, stated that as the Fallen American Veterans Foundation, they are more than pleased to have the Global UAV and pioneer Aerial Surveys partner efforts to the missioned searches for recovery. He continued to state that pioneer always brings a unique technology solution that is most sufficient and good for the searches on the Greenland ice cap.
The annual Stars and Stripes Forever celebration is set for purposes of pride, recognition and honoring community veterans by the City of Farmington Hills Special Service Adults 50 & Better. As their culture and tradition, this year is not any different. It is planned that it will take place at the Costick Center that is located at 28600 Eleven Mile Road in the Farmington Hills, on Friday the 10th of November from 11 a.m. to 1.30 pm. The 21st annual celebration advance tickets for the adults of all ages go for $8 till the 6th of November, while afterwards till at the door during the D-day, will be $10. Veterans residing in Farmington or Farmington Hills are lucky to be offered a complimentary admission, but only for those who are pre-registered before the deadline that is on the 6th of November. Every veteran who resides in the area, with their guests, is welcomed to attend the celebration. An honor guard ceremony that will be conducted by the VFW and the American Legion plus a roll call of all the attended veterans is an inclusion agenda of the November 10th Event. Herman Kasoff, the Army WWII Veteran, will be the keynote speaker of the celebration. Topping up the list of celebration’s event are prizes, raffles, luncheon and special interactive presentations from actors that portray Harry and Bess Truman.
A recent study showed that more than 1.5 million wartime service veterans and their living spouses are entitled to VA pensions that are supposed to assist in paying for their long-term care: homecare, nursing homes or assisted living. This type of pension is known as "Aid and Attendance" and "Housebound." The sad part is that majority of these veterans and their spouses are not receiving these benefits since they don’t even know the programs existed let alone how they can filed for. This is because the whole process of filling the needed forms can be very frustrating. As a veteran grows older the VA department is supposed to offer services and benefits that will help the veteran deal with issues like health risks and financial challenges. There a many benefits that are available to the elderly veterans. These benefits include: Disability compensation Pension Education and training Health care Home loans Insurance Vocational rehabilitation and employment Aid & Attendance and Housebound Additional monetary payment will be offered to any veteran and survivor who happens to eligible for the VA pension and needs the aid and attendance of another person, or are considered to housebound. This benefit is paid to the veteran monthly together with their pension and cannot be offered without the pension benefits. A veteran and his surviving spouse might not be able to get the Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound benefits at the same time. Aid & Attendance (A&A) The Aid & Attendance (A&A) monthly benefits can be added to a veteran’s pension amount if they meet one of the below requirements: The veterans need the assistance of another person to do personal functions needed for everyday living like: bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting themselves from the potential dangers of one’s daily living environment. A veteran is bedridden due to the disability he or she has, and can only leave the bed for any prescribed therapeutic course or treatment. The veteran is a patient at any nursing and diagnosed with physical or mental incapacity. The veteran’s eyesight is limited to a visual acuity of 5/200 despite being corrected. This can be in one eye or both. The concentric contraction is 5 degrees or less from the visual field. The annual family net income that is minus any expenses, is way below the yearly limit that has been by law. The limits are: Wartime service veteran with no dependents: below $21,531 Wartime service veteran with one dependent: below $25,525 The Housebound Benefits This extra monthly monetary pension allowance can be added to a veteran’s monthly pension if the veteran is confined to their immediate premises due to permanent disability. The other qualification would be that their annual family net income should be below the limits that are set by law, the limits are: Wartime service veteran with no dependents: below $15,773 Wartime service veteran with one dependent: below $19,770 NB: A veteran who has one dependent is normally one who living with their spouse. The VA Department deducts the countable income by subtracting any medical expenses that are associated with the out-of-pocket costs like home care or assisted living. Statistics show that most veterans and their surviving spouses have very low incomes and definitely meet the minimum annual income requirement. Many elderly veterans are not quite aware of the difference between these two benefits that are available to them, the Aid & Attendance and the Housebound Pension. The main difference between these two is the care and also the payment rates. In order to get an Aid and Attendance pension, the concerned veteran must need assistance to perform the daily living activities like dressing or bathing. While for the Housebound pension, he or she must be confined substantially in their immediate premise due to permanent disability. The VA benefits for the elderly is able to cater for a portion for expenses of the nursing home care. This is only if the veteran or the surviving spouse has been catering for the expenses from their pocket. Though you will find in some rare cases, where assisted living expenses are not reimbursed by the insurance company, that’s when the VA pension comes in to assist and allow the veteran or the surviving spouse to live an affordable comfortable and assisted life. The VA can also give caregivers (spouses or close family members) tax free monetary assistance that is supposed to assist them to care of the veterans or the surviving spouse. The claimant, though must be able to meet the eligibility requirements that have been set by the VA in order to get the money. The veterans are not limited to pick a VA facility, they can pick any nursing home that they deem to be most convenient to them. Also the provider doesn’t need to be a VA certified one, and any physician is able to document the care that is needed by the claimant. The nursing facilities costs will then be catered for by the VA Department, this applies to veterans and living spouses who are in independent living or assisted living. The surviving spouse of a wartime veteran is eligible for the Aid and Attendance pension or a Housebound pension, which is if they meet the minimum requirements mentioned above. Their net income should also be below the following limits: For the Aid and Attendance pension, annual net income of below $13,836, for a living spouse with no dependents. For the Housebound pension, annual net income of below $10,580, for a living spouse with no dependents. Just like with the veterans, the countable income of the surviving spouse is reduced by any medical expenses that are related to his/her care. State Owned Veteran Homes It’s true and very obvious that the State veteran’s homes help a lot in filling the need for elderly veterans who have low incomes and would want to spend their last days with their comrades. This predominant service can be accessed in state owned veterans nursing home care. The VA nursing homes have to be fully licensed in their particular state and be able to meet the skilled or intermediate nursing services that are offered in the private sector nursing homes in their state. The State homes can also provide assisted living care and/or domiciliary care, it’s more of supported independent living. But then the number of state owned veteran homes in the country are less than 200. And that’s why there are private homes for the elderly veterans and surviving spouse. Some of the services that are offered by the Veterans’ homes are: Help with bathing Help with dressing Medication reminders Transportation Meal preparation Transferring to and from bed Personal care Respite care Light housekeeping Laundry Companionship Assisting the veteran access any community resources that can be used to improve their life. There is at least one state owned veterans homes in every state, while some states like Oklahoma have close to 7 homes. The demand for the homes is very high but then the challenge of lack of enough federal funding has over the years created a delay in the construction of more than 130 care homes for the veterans. Approximately there are about 7,391,000 service members who are still alive and had served in the Vietnam War era between the years 1964 and 1975. The Department of Veterans Affairs. Has estimated that of all the soldiers who had served during World War II between 1941 and 1945, only 1.71 million veterans are still alive. A heavy responsibility has been placed on the country when it comes to looking after the elderly veterans, the VA has been trying to make sure the elderly veterans have access to good health, employment needs and welfare.