“Coming home can be exciting, but also difficult for many service members. As I began my transition from the military I realized I didn’t have all the answers, however I knew where to look! Not knowing isn’t the problem our American veterans face, it’s not asking the questions needed for a seamless transition into veteran status. This is what I loved about being a Marine–sharing knowledge. Marines build upon each others’ experience regardless of rank, and I will continue to share information that can be helpful to all veterans.”
|DID YOU KNOW?
You can claim various types of disabilities for service connection. These are in addition to any disease, mental condition or chronic condition caused or aggravated by your service.
For full information see a VBA representative or visit Compensation and Pension Service
Compensation benefits cannot be paid in conjunction with severance pay. However, concurrent payment for combat disabilities and disabilities rated at 50% or more in addition to payments from PRL are authorized.
Compensation – Some related benefits (if eligible)
How to Apply
DVNF’s CEO, Joe VanFonda (SgtMaj Ret), speaks about Benefits and Resources:
“When I decided to accept my current position with DVNF I knew the immediate needs our disabled veterans wanted; they wanted transparent services, so I created a new initiative for DVNF know as”Benefits and Resources Navigation,” or “BaRN.” Our trained Navigators will help any veteran in need with the benefits and resources available to them within the Department of Veterans Affairs throughout our nation. DVNF will continue to publish information on Benefits and Resources for our veterans in need. Below, you will find some great information in regards to Dental Benefits for Veterans. Please read and visit this website.”
Joe VanFonda (SgtMaj Ret)
Dental Benefits for Veterans
Dental benefits are provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) according to law. In some instances, VA is authorized to provide extensive dental care, while in other cases treatment may be limited. This Fact Sheet describes dental eligibility criteria and contains information to assist Veterans in understanding their eligibility for VA dental care.
The eligibility for outpatient dental care is not the same as for most other VA medical benefits and is categorized into classes. If you are eligible for VA dental care under Class I, IIC, or IV you are eligible for any necessary dental care to maintain or restore oral health and masticatory function, including repeat care. Other classes have time and/or service limitations.
You are eligible for:
Have a service-connected noncompensable dental condition or disability resulting from combat wounds or service trauma.
Any dental care necessary to provide
Have a dental condition clinically determined by VA to be associated with and aggravating a service-connected medical condition.
Dental care to treat the oral conditions that are determined by a VA dental professional to have a direct and material detrimental effect to your service connected medical condition.
Are actively engaged in a 38 USC Chapter 31 vocational rehabilitation program.
Dental care to the extent necessary as determined by a VA dental professional to:
Are receiving VA care or are scheduled for inpatient care
Dental care to treat the oral conditions that are determined by a VA dental professional to complicate your medical condition currently under treatment.
Are an enrolled Veteran who may be homeless and receiving care under VHA Directive 2007-039.
A one-time course of dental care that is determined medically necessary to relieve pain, assist you to gain employment, or treat moderate, severe, or complicated and severe gingival and periodontal conditions.
* Note: Public Law 83 enacted June 16, 1955, amended Veterans’ eligibility for outpatient dental services. As a result, any Veteran who received a dental award letter from VBA dated before 1955 in which VBA determined the dental conditions to be noncompensable are no longer eligible for Class II outpatient dental treatment.
Veterans receiving hospital, nursing home, or domiciliary care will be provided dental services that are professionally determined by a VA dentist, in consultation with the referring physician, to be essential to the management of the patient’s medical condition under active treatment.
For more information about eligibility for VA medical and dental benefits, contact VA at 1-877-222-VETS (8387)
For 238 years, the United States Marine Corps has proudly served our great nation with unfailing valor bolstered by the enduring fortitude of our fellow Marines, our families, and our friends. This is why each year on November 10th, Marines from all generations gather together, in groups large and small, to celebrate the birthday of our Corps and to reflect on the proud legacy and warrior ethos we share. This is what unites us as Marines. From our first battle at New Providence to today in Afghanistan, Marines have always shown that they were made of tougher stuff – that when the enemy’s fire poured in from all angles, and the situation was grim, Marines unequivocally knew that their fellow Marines would stay behind their guns, fight courageously, and drive the enemy from the battlefield. We have always known hardship, fatigue, and pain. … But we have never known what it is to lose a battle!
Marines of generations past built our reputation as the most disciplined and honorable warriors to ever set foot on a battlefield, and we have triumphed in every battle because our Corps has always focused on iron discipline and combat excellence. This is who we are…this is what we do! It matters not whether you carried an M-1, an M-14, or M-16. It matters not whether you fought on a lonely island in the Pacific, assaulted a citadel in the jungle, or marched up to Baghdad. It matters not whether you are a grunt, a pilot, or a loggie. What matters is that, when the chips were down and things got tough, your fellow Marines could count on you to stand and fight. … And fight you did!
This year we celebrate the anniversary of several epic battles in our celebrated history: the 70th anniversary of the 2d Marine Division landing on Tarawa, the 45th anniversary of the Battle of Hue City, and the 10th anniversary of the “March Up” to Baghdad. Marines who fought in these legendary battles each made their mark upon the history of our corps. They have passed a rich and illustrious legacy on to us – a much heralded reputation. It is ours to jealously guard, and it is up to us to make our own marks and thus proudly pass it on to the generations of Marines who will follow.
Sergeant Major Michael Barret joins me in congratulating each of you. Because of you, your selfless service, and your many sacrifices, our Corps remains strong and ready to respond to any crisis. Throughout history, Marines have faced tough times and there will be tough times ahead, but there is no challenge we cannot overcome if we remain honorable and always faithful to our nation, our constitution and each other. Happy birthday, Marines!
AMES F. AMOS, GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS, COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS
History of Veterans Day
World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”
Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, wait for the end of hostilities. This photo was taken at 10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect
In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”
The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.
The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:
Whereas; the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and
Whereas; it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and
Whereas; the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.
An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first “Veterans Day Proclamation” which stated: “In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible.”
President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day. From left: Alvin J. King, Wayne Richards, Arthur J. Connell, John T. Nation, Edward Rees, Richard L. Trombla, Howard W. Watts
On that same day, President Eisenhower sent a letter to the Honorable Harvey V. Higley, Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), designating him as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee.
In 1958, the White House advised VA’s General Counsel that the 1954 designation of the VA Administrator as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee applied to all subsequent VA Administrators. Since March 1989 when VA was elevated to a cabinet level department, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has served as the committee’s chairman.
The Uniform Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates.
The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.
Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
Last week, the staff of Disabled Veterans National Foundation had the opportunity to go to Boston and visit the New England Center for Homeless Veterans (NECHV). As long time partners, DVNF and NECHV have teamed up to help hundreds of veterans in need in the New England area.
DVNF recently supplied the shelter with many items such as clothing, snack food, soap, lotion and many other needed items. These items are crucial to the wellbeing of these veterans, as well as to the success of the center.
NECHV is a wonderful organization that helps homeless veterans get back on their feet. Many of these veterans have endured difficult post-military lives coping with poverty, family issues, mental health problems and substance abuse. Among the veterans we visited, a few were eager to talk with DVNF.
Grady, an Army veteran and former resident of the shelter, is now an employee, giving back to the veterans that he can empathize with. A big part of Grady’s job is to make sure that the veterans at the center fully utilize the clothing store*, which DVNF has helped to keep stocked over the years.
(*It should be noted that the “clothing store” is what NECHV calls their supply of items that are given to the veterans at the shelter.)
“When veterans walk into the store, they are always grateful for the items that DVNF has been able to send,” Grady told us. “Without these items, many of them would not have clothes to wear. No veteran should be left behind.”
Grady also said that he believes every veteran should have a place to rest his head at night and is thankful that he has the opportunity to show veterans that there is a safe place for them.
Another veteran we spoke with was Jamie. Jamie is an honorably discharged U.S Navy Veteran who is currently a resident at NECHV. Throughout the last couple of years he has overcome many obstacles such as two surgeries, a divorce and alcohol addiction. When asked about his time at the center, he replied, “The center has created a sparkle in my heart. When I came in, I knew something special was here.”
During his stay at the center, Jamie has created a job for himself. He works in the shelter’s clothing store and sorts the items that are delivered. When he is in the clothing store, he said that he gets to see the expressions on other veterans’ faces, and that they are so thankful for the items DVNF sent. Not only was he appreciative of the items DVNF was able to send, but was also happy we were able to come to the center and speak with everyone.
One of the last veterans we spoke with was Richard. Richard is an honorably discharged Vietnam veteran and is a current resident at the Center. After serving in the Vietnam War Richard mentioned that he provided services to help other veterans, such as working with local offices.
Richard also expressed his gratitude for the items that DVNF has been able to send. He told us that when he shops at the Center’s store, everyone is so excited about the items and it gives veterans a boost of self-esteem.
These are just a few of the great people we were able to speak with at NECHV. Understandably, there were many more veterans who were not as comfortable with us telling their stories as Grady, Jamie and Richard. These individuals have led difficult lives. It is hard to really understand unless you have experienced it.
When you meet veterans like Grady, everyone should take comfort in knowing that this individual–once a soldier, turned homeless–was able to overcome the greatest of odds. He could have left the shelter and moved on with his life, but instead, he chose to make a living serving the people whose difficulties he understands.
Though DVNF is always committed to serving veterans, opportunities like these, to spend time in a veteran’s world and hear of his triumphs and tragedies, are truly humbling experiences.
This is a great example that shows how your support can be paid forward exponentially!
As you may know, DVNF is in the beginning stages of implement its new Benefits and Resources Navigation (BaRN) initiative. As part of this, DVNF Executive Director Joseph VanFonda (SgtMaj Ret) will begin to offer helpful tips for veterans who are looking for resources or assistance with the VA system.
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October 28, 2013
Joseph VanFonda (SgtMaj Ret), Executive Director for DVNF, continues to push the phrase “Knowledge is Power” out to our Disabled Veterans, and Veterans alike.
“Imagine if all our Disabled Veterans & Veterans alike unite together on identifying our homeless veterans and help them navigate through this difficult matrix of our Department of Veterans Affairs. Honestly, you would be saving our American Heroes, and many need to be saved.
“Please reach out to the National Call Center for the Homeless. It’s confidential and it’s the right thing to do. We as veterans are all cut from the same cloth, sewn from the same fabric of our American Flag.”
For more information please continue to read below:
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) has founded a National Call Center for Homeless Veterans hotline to ensure that homeless Veterans or Veterans at-risk for homelessness have free, 24/7 access to trained counselors. The hotline is intended to assist homeless Veterans and their families, VA Medical Centers, federal, state and local partners, community agencies, service providers and others in the community. To be connected with a trained VA staff member call 1-877-4AID VET (877-424-3838).
- Call for yourself or someone else
- Free and confidential
- Trained VA counselors to assist
- Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- We have information about VA homeless programs and mental health services in your area that can help you.
What will happen when I call?
- You will be connected to a trained VA staff member.
- Hotline staff will conduct a brief screen to assess your needs.
- Homeless Veterans will be connected with the Homeless Point of Contact at the nearest VA facility.
- Family members and non-VA providers calling on behalf of a homeless Veteran will be provided with information regarding the homeless programs and services available.
Contact information will be requested so that staff may follow-up.
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October 22, 2013
Mobile App: PTSD Coach
PTSD Coach has now been downloaded over 100,000 times in 74 countries around the world.
The PTSD Coach app can help you learn about and manage symptoms that commonly occur after trauma. Features include:
- Reliable information on PTSD and treatments that work.
- Tools for screening and tracking your symptoms.
- Convenient, easy-to-use skills to help you handle stress symptoms.
- Direct links to support and help.
- Always with you when you need it.
Download the mobile app
Now available for Canada (in French) and other versions on iTunes.
Also see PTSD Coach ONLINE: 17 tools to choose from available as desktop version.
How to use PTSD Coach
Together with professional medical treatment, PTSD Coach provides you dependable resources you can trust. If you have, or think you might have PTSD, this app is for you. Family and friends can also learn from this app.
PTSD Coach was created by the VA’s National Center for PTSD and the DoD’s National Center for Telehealth and Technology.
NOTE: PTSD is a serious mental health condition that often requires professional evaluation and treatment. PTSD Coach is not intended to replace needed professional care.
The questionnaire used in PTSD Coach, the PTSD Checklist (PCL), is a reliable and valid self-report measure used across VA, DoD, and in the community, but it is not intended to replace professional evaluation.
Providing you with facts and self-help skills based on research.
Privacy and security
Any data created by the user of this app are only as secure as the phone/device itself. Use the security features on your device if you are concerned about the privacy of your information. Users are free to share data, but as the self-monitoring data belong to each user, HIPAA concerns do not apply while the data is stored or shared. If the user were to transmit or share data with a health care provider, the provider must then comply with HIPAA rules.
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October 10, 2013
Executive Director Joseph VanFonda (SgtMaj Ret) explains:
Knowledge is power! We will educate our disabled veterans and our transitioning service members with the tools needed in order to understand the Veterans Integrated System Network within their state of residence. And by understanding this complex system by the knowledge we share each disabled veteran can self-advocate for their own immediate care.
Did you know…
Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQs) are downloadable forms for veterans to use in the disability evaluation process. DBQs can help speed the processing of compensation and pension claims.
DBQs allow veterans and servicemembers to have more control over the disability claims process by giving them the option of completing an examination with their own healthcare providers instead of at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facility.
DBQs enable private health care providers to capture important information needed by VA to accurately evaluate and promptly decide veterans’ claims for benefits.
More than 70 DBQs are available that use check boxes and standardized language to streamline the process. DBQs average about seven pages in length. Veterans are responsible for any fees their private providers may charge for completing a DBQ.
How to Find and Submit a DBQ
The DBQ process involves four steps:
Access the form online at http://benefits.va.gov/disabilityexams and download it;
Have your healthcare provider complete the form;
Save a copy for your records; and
Submit the form to VA.
Note: Remember, knowledge is power and it starts now!
I have enclosed a website that will help you, called eBenefits; its personalized workspace, called “My Dashboard” provides quick access to eBenefits tools. Using eBenefits tools, each veteran can complete various tasks. It can help veterans apply for benefits “and, medical care”, by downloading their DD 214, view their benefits status, in addition to other actions as needed. This workspace is available to ALL veterans once they have created an eBenefits account.
Also, please create an online account with the (VA) My HealtheVet website https://www.myhealth.va.gov/index.html.
My HealtheVet is VA’s online personal health record. It was designed for Veterans, active duty service members, their dependents and caregivers. My HealtheVet helps veterans partner with your health care team. It provides veterans opportunities and tools to make informed decisions and manage their health care.
Create an account and register!
Joseph VanFonda (SgtMaj Ret)
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October 9, 2013
Benefits & Resources Navigation (BaRN)
“EASIEST WAY TO CHECK ON PENDING CLAIM OR APPEAL BY CONNECTING TO VA.”
Haven’t heard back from the VA in months about your claim?
How many times have you called the VA 1-800 number and ended up on hold for 30 minutes before hanging up? Are you getting lost in the maze of recordings?
I want to let you know about an easy way to get a call back rather than wait.
- Call 1-800-827-1000
- Wait for the first recording to start then push “1”.
- Wait for the next response to start then push “1” again.
- Wait for the recording to come on the third time then push “0”.
You will now be connected to call-back recording.
This works 24/7.
Please try it!
Note: You can also request for a response in writing.