Dave Jones: Veteran’s Corner
November 6, 2009
In October, the president signed into law legislation that will enable the Department of Veterans Affairs to know its health care budget a full year in advance. The VA is the federal agency tasked with caring for America Heroes. A budget known a full year in advance will enable the agency to plan for the hiring of critical medical and research staff, as well as forecast equipment and facility upgrades throughout their entire nationwide network. The Veterans Health Care and Reform and Transparency Act will ensure that medical services, facilities and research programs are not impacted by annual Capitol Hill budget battles that have resulted in the VA being funded late in 20 of the past 23 years.Families that have family members returning from the War Zone: A Guide for Families of Military Personnel. Go to http://www.va.gov and type in Returning from the War Zone in the search bar. If you do not have access to the Internet, call and I will arrange to get you online. As a military family member you want to understand what to expect during reintegration after time in a war zone, and to help your loved one adapt back to home life. Trying to locate a buddy whom you served with in the military? The privacy act obliges the VA, as a federal agency, to protect the privacy of veterans’ personal information. Therefore, VA cannot release personal information about a veteran in its records system without that person’s permission. VA can, however, forward a message from you to the veteran, providing VA has a current address on record. Write your message to your friend and place it in an unsealed, stamped envelope. Include a note to VA explaining who it is that you are trying to reach and add as much identifying information as you have. Put all of this in another envelope and address it to the nearest VA Regional Office. For Grand County Veterans it is Dept. of VA – 7465 E. 1st Ave, STE C – Denver, Co. 80230.If the veteran is in VA records, your message to the veteran will be sealed and the envelope will be sent to the address on file for the veteran. It is then up to the veteran to contact you.Applebee’s, in recognition of Veterans’ service to our country, is inviting all Veterans and active duty personnel to eat at Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar on Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11. Applebee’s did this last year for the first time and it was a great success. So, if you are near an Applebee’s, stop in. Veterans, I urge all of you to make sure you have a DD-214 in your possession and that your loved ones know where it can be found. If you do not have your copy of the DD-214 call and we can get one on its way. This single document is the most important document you can have as a Veteran. Without it, getting timely help from the VA is impossible.- Any questions please call me at 970-509-9024.