Military Minute

Nolan County Veterans Service Office 235.2214
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6.26.15
The Department of Veterans Affairs has published a new regulation that expands eligibility for some benefits for a select group of Air Force Veterans and Air Force Reserve personnel who were exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange through regular and repeated contact with contaminated C-123 aircraft that had been used in Vietnam as part of Operation Ranch Hand. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald made the decision to expand benefits following receipt of a 2015 report by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine. This VA-requested report found evidence that as many as 1,500 to 2,100 Air Force and Air Force Reserve personnel who served as flight, medical and ground maintenance crew members on aircraft previously used to spray Agent Orange in Vietnam were exposed to the herbicide. For more information and assistance with your possible C-123 claim, call toll-free 1.800.749.8387, or contact Nolan County Veterans Services Officer Robert McBride at 235.2214.

6.26.15
The VA Patient Advocacy Program is for all Veterans and their families who receive care at the Veterans Health Administration facilities and clinics. They want to ensure that you have someone to go to with your concerns in a timely manner and to help you receive care. If you need help getting care or getting your problems resolved, talk to the Patient Advocate at your VA Medical Center. If you have a compliment, suggestion or concern regarding your care, first speak with your treatment team. That would include your doctor, nurse, social worker, dietitian, pharmacist, chaplain, therapist and all other professionals associated with your medical care. If you feel your concerns are not being addressed by your treatment team, that's where VA Patient Advocate may step in. They are specifically designated at each facility to manage the feedback received from Veterans, family members and friends. And they work directly with management and employees to facilitate resolutions.

6.5.15
The DAV helps returning veterans transition back to civilian life by linking them with services that address their physical, emotional, and financial needs. Membership in the DAV includes access to a wide range of money-saving and life-enhancing benefits for heroes and their families. These partners stand by our veterans through a variety of programs, products and services. Some examples, Vehicle-related discounts on Ford and Lincoln models, as well as reimbursements for up to $1000 toward the cost of installed adaptive equipment. DAV members are also eligible for low cost long distance phone service, as well as receive prices 40-50% off the national average through their savings program for LASIK eye surgery. To enroll, go online at DAV.org. # Air Force Airman Nathan W. Chandler has graduated from basic military training at Lackland, San Antonio. He earned the distinction as an honor graduate. He also is a 2009 graduate of Wylie High School.

6.5.15
One of those Veteran questions that can pop up from a survivor family member during a sudden stressful time is does the VA provide a burial flag? According to the VA, the flag is generally given to the next-of-kin, as a keepsake, after its use during the funeral service. When there is no next-of-kin, the VA will furnish the flag to a friend making a request for it. For those VA national cemeteries with an Avenue of Flags, families of Veterans buried in these national cemeteries may donate the burial flags of their loved ones to be flown on patriotic holidays. To apply for the Flag, complete VA Form 27-2008, Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes. U.S. Post Offices are the primary issuing point for burial flags, and usually the funeral director can help you obtain a flag. Confirm with your local post office in advance. Not all have burial flags on hand but they should be able to direct you to the closest issuing post office. For more info, contact the VA toll-free at 1.800.827.1000.

5.4.15
In order to expand eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program, the Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that it will determine eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program based on the distance between a Veteran’s place of residence and the nearest VA medical facility using driving distance rather than straight-line distance. This change has been published in the Federal Register and is now in effect. The change from straight-line to driving distance roughly doubles the number of eligible Veterans. Letters are being sent to the newly eligible Veterans to let them know they are now eligible. For questions about the Choice Program, call toll-free (866) 606-8198. # Air Force Airman 1st Class Brett C. McClure graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas. He graduated in 2008 from Hermleigh High and earned a bachelor's degree in 2014 from Angelo State University. He is the son of John and Traci McClure of Snyder.

5.4.15
We have a local American Legion post located in Roscoe at 224 Loop 544, right off Interstate 20, contact telephone number 766-8887. You are eligible for membership if you have served federal active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during any of the war eras and have honorably discharged or are still serving. Your membership includes discounts, a free Legion monthly magazine subscription and helps support Veterans voices in Washington. The opportunity of fellowship with other Veterans is a plus. # If you have beef jerky to spare, consider sharing it with soldiers on long missions? These servicepeople look forward to this easy to pack protein snack to get them through those times. Send individual wrapped jerky like Slim Jim to Operation Shoebox, PO Box 1465, Belleview, FL 34421. The non-profit organization will include these items in care packages sent to our troops serving around the world. For more info, visit online at operationshoebox.com.