Showing posts with label Veterans Centers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Veterans Centers. Show all posts

Saturday, January 21, 2017

"As a nation we say we love you" to Veterans, But Will We Prove It?

Will We Prove We Love Our Veterans?
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 21, 2017

When I got into all of this, President Reagan had been in office a year. Then it was President Bush, followed by President Clinton, followed by President Bush, President Obama and now, President Trump. Every single one of them has promised to honor the devotion and dedication of all those who served in the military, and they failed, and now it seems as if President Trump is about to fail them again. With his desire to privatize their care, sending veterans away from the care they were promised. Instead of demanding Congress finally accepts the profound responsibility and do whatever it takes to fix what they have failed to do since 1946.

As with most things, if you think something is suddenly wrong because you are suddenly paying attention to it, here is just an example.

After the passage of the Veterans Health Care Amendments Act of 1979, the VA set up a network of Vet Centers across the country, separate from other VA facilities. In response to their special needs, the Vet Centers at first were limited to Vietnam veterans. 

This is from President Reagan's speech at the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

But -- But -- But beyond that, we remember today that all our gentle heroes of Vietnam have given us a lesson in something more: a lesson in living love. Yes, for all of them, those who came back and those who did not, their love for their families lives. Their love for their buddies on the battlefields and friends back home lives. Their love of their country lives.

This memorial has become a monument to that living love. The thousands who come to see the names testify to a love that endures. The messages and mementos they leave speak with a whispering voice that passes gently through the surrounding trees and to out across the breast of our peaceful nation: a childhood teddy bear, a photograph of the son or daughter born too late to know his or her father, a battle ribbon, a note -- there are so many of these, and all are testimony to our living love for them. And our nation itself is testimony to the love our veterans have had for it and for us. Our liberties, our values, all for which America stands is safe today because brave men and women have been ready to face the fire at freedom's front. And we thank God for them.

Yes, gentle heroes and living love and our memories of a time when we faced great divisions here at home. And yet if this place recalls all this, both sweet and sad, it also reminds us of a great and profound truth about our nation: that from all our divisions we have always eventually emerged strengthened. Perhaps we are finding that new strength today, and if so, much of it comes from the forgiveness and healing love that our Vietnam veterans have shown.

"As a nation we say we love you." said President Reagan, but as a nation, we had not lived up to caring for those who carried the wounds of war on their backs and in their souls. 

"As a nation we say we love you" to our veterans and are eternally grateful for your service that should never end because it is just too hard to do.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs was turned into a Cabinet Position by President Reagan.

President Reagan signed legislation in 1988 to elevate VA to Cabinet status and, on March 15, 1989, the Veterans Administration became the Department of Veterans Affairs. Edward J. Derwinski, VA administrator at the time, was appointed the first Secretary of Veterans Affairs. 
Yet jurisdiction was placed in the hands of Congress in 1946, but they have managed to blame the Secretary of the VA ever since.. 

This is from the GAO in 2002

We are pleased to be here today to discuss the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) progress in reducing veterans' waiting times for decisions on their disability compensation and pension claims. VA expects to provide about $25 billion in compensation and pension benefits in fiscal year 2002 to over 3 million veterans and their dependents and survivors. For years, the compensation and pension claims process has been the subject of concern and attention within VA and by the Congress and veterans service organizations. Many of their concerns have focused on the long waits for decisions and large claims backlogs, both of which have negatively affected the quality of service provided to veterans. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs has made improving compensation and pension claims processing performance one of VA's top management priorities. The Secretary's end of fiscal year 2003 goal is to complete accurate decisions on rating-related claims in an average of 100 days. To achieve this goal, the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) is focusing on increasing production of rating decisions and reducing the inventory of claims to about 250,000. As of the end of March 2002, VBA was completing claims in an average of 224 days and had an inventory of about 412,000 claims.

So, here we are all these Presidents later and President Trump is now about to send veterans into the private healthcare nightmare. I never thought I'd see a time in this country when our obligation to our veterans ended because it was easier for us to just forget they are not civilians and should be provided with the best care this NATION, can give them. Giving up was not an option for them in combat and it should never be an option because it is hard for politicians to deliver to them.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Illinois State Rep Steps Up For Veterans

Rep. Manley, D-Joliet, creates new Veterans Citizens Advisory Committee
Veterans, supporters come together for brainstorming session
The Herald News
January 18, 2016
Leverence, who has post-traumatic stress disorder, said the resources provided by the Will County VAC saved his life, and could save others, too.
State Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, speaks Monday to those in attendance at the first meeting of the Veterans Citizens Advisory Committee, held at her office in Joliet. The group will tackle challenges faced by veterans and try to help veterans through creation of legislation and building support networks. Nearly two dozen veterans, supporters and nonprofit leaders attended Manley's meeting.
JOLIET – State Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, said she hopes Monday’s meeting of her new citizens advisory committee will be the first of many dedicated to finding new ways to help veterans through legislation and building support networks.

Nearly two dozen veterans, supporters and nonprofit leaders attended Manley’s Veterans Citizens Advisory Committee meeting, held Monday morning at her office at 2701 Black Road in Joliet. The event was open to anyone.

Much of the event centered around challenges faced by veterans navigating the health care system and securing benefits, and the lack of support from non-veterans upon returning home.

Others, including Kevin Leverence, an Iraq war veteran from Joliet, suggested that the resources are there, but veterans don’t know about them. Community outreach requires money, which many nonprofits, VFW posts and other non-government agencies do not have, he said.

“Let’s bring people together,” Leverence said. “One of the best things we can do is find the best things that are already there. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel.”

Veterans have available the Orland Park Vet Center, the Will County Veterans Assistance Commission, and Family and Friends Day Center Inc., a social service agency with three veterans houses in Joliet, he said.
read more here

Sunday, July 27, 2014

WWII Veteran attacked at Oklahoma Veterans Center

Oklahoma veteran attacked in Claremore Center
KFOR News 4
JULY 25, 2014

CLAREMORE, Okla. – There are more than 300,000 veterans in Oklahoma, and seven state-run facilities for those vets in their golden years.

The family of one veteran recently contacted NewsChannel 4 after a horrific situation at the vet center in Claremore, Oklahoma.

Seaman First Class Richard Morrison enlisted in the Navy when he was just 15 years old.

He fought World War II in the Pacific and today fights a different battle; dementia.

His family noticed about a year and a half ago that he was showing signs of Alzheimer’s and needed help.

Morrison’s family tried live-in nursing care for almost two years.

They eventually decided his best option was the Claremore Veterans’ Center.

He had been here just five weeks when he was attacked by another resident in the dementia wing.
Richard Morrison’s case is just the latest in a string of complaints out of the Claremore Veterans’ Center in recent years. In fact, conditions were so bad at Claremore a few years ago the state legislature asked the State Health Department to step in. The state now conducts regular, unannounced visits to all the vet centers around the state.
read more here

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Ocala Veterans Center Welcomed Changed

Ocala Vet Center relocates
Venue offers free services for combat veterans
Ocala Star Banner
Joe Callahan
Staff Writer
June 19, 2014

Vietnam veteran Nick Lomanjino smiled broadly as he sat in the lobby of the new Ocala Vet Center operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Lomanjino, 65, is a client at the center, which offers combat veterans and their families readjustment services, which include mental health and family and career counseling. The disabled veteran said he was in awe of the remodeled 2,200-square-foot facility, which was unveiled to the public Thursday morning during an open house.

The former 700-square-foot Ocala Vet Center, at 612 SW First Ave., opened in 2010 in the back of a Marion County Fire Rescue emergency medical services station just east of U.S. 441.

"The other site was actually depressing," Lomanjino said. "Though I am glad we had the other vet center, this is much better. This one looks professional, just like the professionals who work here."

The new center is in leased quarters in a business complex at 3300 SW 34th Ave., Suite 140, just north of State Road 200.

It is one of 300 vet centers established around the world since 1979 when Congress approved the counseling concept for Vietnam veterans. The service has since expanded to include all combat veterans.

Ocala was picked as a site for its central location. Sarita Figueroa, the regional manager of 42 vet centers in the Southeastern United States, said Thursday it took four years for the VA to find a location that met strict federal government guidelines. In the case of the Ocala center, the sticking point was that the VA required a five-year lease.
Marion veterans
The Ocala Vet Center serves combat veterans in Marion and Citrus counties, and those living in The Villages. For information about services offered, call 237-1947.
Marion County
Combat vets: 34,300
Overall vets: 45,745

Citrus County
Combat vets: 9,511
Overall vets: 26,022

The Villages
Combat vets: 7,826
Overall vets: 10,676

Combat vets: 61,637
Combat vets: 82,433
read more here
Last entry error, they must have meant to type overall vets

Friday, April 19, 2013

If you are "freaking out" after Boston bombing, help is available

It has already started to hit OEF and OIF veterans hard. My phone has been busy and so has my email. If you are a veteran "freaking out" because of the bomb blasts in Boston, seek help. It is part of PTSD and where you were.

If it is worse for you, don't just try to get over it. Contact your Vets Center and get in to talk to someone.

Here is the link to Vets Centers in every state.

It happened to other veterans right after 9-11. It happened again after the shootings at Fort Hood. It is happening again now because of the bombings. Help is there for you. Call them!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Specter trying to forestall closings of five veterans centers

Specter trying to forestall closings of five veterans centers
Saturday, December 05, 2009
By Jerome L. Sherman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter is trying to find federal funding for five Pennsylvania veterans outreach centers that will run out of money by Dec. 31.

He'll have to act fast. At least one center, in Erie, has already closed. And the remaining centers -- in Harrisburg, Greensburg, Boyertown and West Pittston -- are no longer seeing clients. The state Department of Labor and Industry has provided just enough money to complete the closure process.

"If he can get the money to keep it open, I will probably stay on," James Krobath, an operations specialist in the Harrisburg center, said of Mr. Specter's efforts. "It would be pretty difficult at this point to recover. We're in the closeout mode."

Budget cuts have pushed state government to shutter the facilities, which help veterans with a range of services, from seeking pension benefits to obtaining medals. They have a strong reach in rural areas.
go here for more

Saturday, December 6, 2008

VA botches appointment scheduling, report says

If you work for the VA understand this;

I post a lot about how the VA fails our veterans. This is just one more case of that but I really feel that occasionally I need to remind the readers that there are great things being done as well.

If you work for the VA,
I appreciate the fact you work for the VA and most of you do a fantastic job for our veterans. Between taking care of my Dad and my husband, I have no complaints about the care they received once their claims were approved. I really respect the work most of you do. That said, I'm very hard on the things the people running the VA do because of things like this. When they fail the veterans, it makes your job harder. Please don't be offended by the reports coming out. If things need to be fixed, helped us out so that they get fixed and the veterans get the care they deserve. Isn't that why you work for the VA?

VA botches appointment scheduling, report says

By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Dec 5, 2008 16:59:32 EST

A new report says Veterans Centers run by the Department of Veterans Affairs could have seen more patients in the past year if they did a better job scheduling and rescheduling visits.

About 4.9 million appointments were not kept in fiscal 2008, with each missed visit costing the VA about $182, according to the report by the VA inspector general, released Dec. 4.

That means VA is both losing money and failing to treat veterans as quickly as possible by keeping a flawed system for making appointments, and by not maintaining waiting lists to fill appointments canceled at the last minute.

A medical facility sometimes may leave an appointment open intentionally because visits can run long, and facilities worry about being able to see everyone.

But the report also found about 3.1 million incidents in fiscal 2008 when patients did not show up for appointments, and 1.8 million appointments that were canceled by the patient and not refilled with other patients.

Having 4.9 million unfilled appointments does not mean VA potentially could see 4.9 million more people, however. Most were seen later, and some of those were multiple appointments for the same person.
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