VA to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War

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VA to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War

Exemplifies a MyVA priority to Improve the Veteran Experience While Thanking

Vietnam Veterans and Their Families

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced it will conduct hundreds of events in VA facilities across the nation on Mar. 29 to recognize, honor and thank U.S. Vietnam Veterans and their families for their service and sacrifices as part of the national Vietnam War Commemoration.

VA Secretary Robert McDonald will host a wreath-laying ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial – “The Wall” to initiate VA’s contribution to the Commemoration.  He will be joined by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. “We are proud to partner with the Department of Defense in this endeavor.  Secretary Carter’s Vietnam War Commemoration staff has greatly assisted us in planning this humble tribute to our Vietnam Veterans and their families.”

VA, along with more than 9,000 organizations across the country, has joined with the Department of Defense as a Commemorative Partner to help Americans honor our nation’s Vietnam Veterans.

Authorized by Congress, established under the Secretary of Defense, and launched by the President in May 2012, the Vietnam War Commemoration recognizes all men and women who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces from November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975.  Nine million Americans, approximately 7 million living today, served during that period, and the Commemoration makes no distinction between Veterans who served in-county, in-theater, or were stationed elsewhere during those 20 years.  All answered the call of duty.

“This Commemoration has special significance for those of us at VA because of our honored mission to serve those who have “borne the battle,” said McDonald.  “It’s also an opportunity to remember our VA colleagues who served in this generation of Veterans, to extend our heartfelt appreciation to them and to their families who shared the burden of their loved one’s service.”

More than 329 VA medical centers, regional benefit offices and national cemeteries will host events, many in partnership with local Veteran service organizations and volunteers.

By presidential proclamation issued on May 25, 2012, the Commemoration extends from its inaugural event on Memorial Day 2012 through Veterans Day 2025.

Commemorative Partners – local, state and national organizations, businesses, corporations and governmental agencies – have committed to publicly thank and honor Vietnam Veterans and their families on behalf of the nation and have pledged to host a minimum of two events annually.

To learn more about the Vietnam War Commemoration, go to: www.vietnamwar50th.com

Combat Veterans Get Telephonic Health Care Application Option  

Accelerates Enrollment of Combat Veterans; All Veterans to Get Option on July 5, 2016

             WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that it has amended its enrollment regulations to allow Veterans to complete applications for enrollment in VA health care by telephone without the need for a signed paper application. The change is effective immediately for Combat Veterans and will be effective July 5, 2016, for all Veterans.

            This phased implementation accelerates VA’s effort to enroll all Combat Veterans with pending applications as part of its ongoing Veterans Enrollment Rework Project. The VA is working to complete the review and rework of all pending health enrollment records for living and deceased Veterans this summer. Veterans can view the amended regulation on the Federal Register website here.

            “This improvement to our Veterans’ experience is one we can implement now, and it’s the right thing to do for Veterans,” said VA Deputy Secretary Sloan D. Gibson, “Enrolling all 31,000 Combat Veterans with pending applications is the top priority in our effort to fix our enrollment system. Our analysis of our current application process convinced me we could enroll Veterans more quickly using this method, particularly Combat Veterans and those who are transitioning from active duty to Veteran status,” Gibson said.

            By adding this telephone application option to VA’s regulations, VA will now offer three ways to enroll.  This change provides Veterans an even more convenient way to apply for enrollment, in addition to the paper VA Form 10-10 EZ and online enrollment application process. With publication in the Federal Register today, Combat Veterans may now apply by phone. All other Veterans may apply by phone starting on July 5, 2016.

            When Veterans choose to enroll, VA offers an enhancement to their enrollment experience through “Welcome to VA” (W2VA).  Veterans enrolled since July 1, 2015 have received a personal introduction to VA health care services, programs and resources to help them become more familiar with VA’s services. In addition, VA sends each new enrollee an introductory letter and personalized handbook in the mail. W2VA enhances communication by reaching out to newly enrolled Veterans through personal phone calls upon enrollment, providing assistance with health care inquiries and assisting with their initial appointment at their preferred VA healthcare facility.

            For more information, Veterans can contact the Health Eligibility Center Enrollment and Eligibility Division toll free at 1-855-488-8440.

American Legion 97th Birthday, Custer Post No.46

 

 

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Floyd Mills and Harold Stickney cut the 97 year American Legion Birthday cake at the Masonic Lodge in Custer. Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Custer Post No.46 Chaplin David Fluck, presents the Public Service and Public Safety Award to Law Enforcement Officer Glen Tally Jr. Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Custer Post No. 46 Chaplin David Fluck, presents the Public Safety and Public Service Award to Fire Fighter Quentin Cordell. Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Custer Post No. 46 Chaplin David Fluck, presents the Public Safety and Public Service Award to Emergency Medical Technician, Lori Balcinus. Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

 

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Custer Post No. 46 Chaplin David Fluck, presents the 5 Year Longevity Pin to Tony Gonsor. Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Custer Post No. 46 Chaplin David Fluck, presents the 10 Year Longevity Pin to Corin Herman. Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Custer Post No. 46 Chaplin David Fluck, presents the 70 Year Longevity Pin to Harold Stickney. Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

 

Veterans With Incomplete Health Care Applications Receive Additional Year to Enrol

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today it will extend the healthcare enrollment application period for one year to approximately 545,000 living Veterans that have pending incomplete enrollment applications.

             “Fixing the Veterans enrollment system is a top priority for VA. This is an important step forward to regain Veterans’ trust and improve access to care as we continue the MyVA Transformation,” said VA Deputy Secretary Sloan D. Gibson. “We’ve got a lot of work left to do, but this is a big step in the right direction to restore the data integrity of our enrollment system,” Gibson said.

             The National Enrollment Improvement team conducted a detailed analysis of the pending applications in VA’s enrollment system and identified approximately 545,000 living Veterans whose applications were incomplete and in a pending status.  The team also validated that approximately 288,000 pending enrollment system records were for deceased Veterans. VA has segregated deceased records from living Veteran records and, as part of the Veteran Enrollment Rework Project (VERP), will review each incomplete application to determine if any should have been enrolled in VA health care.

             VA is required by law to provide notice to Veterans of incomplete applications. The VERP team could not verify that VA’s mailing system used to contact Veterans about their incomplete applications was able to notify the 545,000 Veterans identified above.

             VA will contact living Veterans to confirm their continued interest in enrolling in VA health care and ask them for the necessary information to complete their application.  Veterans will have one year from the notice to provide this information.  After a year, VA will close the record.  A Veteran may reapply for enrollment at any time.

             As  Veterans choose to enroll, VA offers an enhancement to their enrollment experience through “Welcome to VA” (W2VA).  Veterans enrolled since July 1, 2015 have received a personal introduction to VA health care services, programs and resources to help them become more familiar with VA’s services. In addition, VA sends each new enrollee an introductory letter and personalized handbook in the mail. W2VA enhances communication by reaching out to newly enrolled Veterans through personal phone calls upon enrollment, providing assistance with health care inquiries and assisting with their initial appointment at their preferred VA healthcare facility.

Operation Black Hills Cabin – Custer, South Dakota

“Why would they be so kind”

 It was a question a disabled veteran asked about the people and businesses in Custer and surrounding communities in South Dakota, who help make these respites possible. 

Founded in 2011 by a retired military couple, OPERATION BLACK HILLS CABIN is located in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. Its purpose is to offer a week-long respite, to qualifying wounded veterans from the Iraq/Afghanistan campaigns, and their families, at little or no expense to them, except for transportation.

It provides a therapeutic environment to assist qualifying combat-injured veterans with their rehabilitation from their traumatic and stressful experiences, while serving the interest of our Nation.   It also provides an opportunity for the disabled veterans to reacquaint themselves with their family in a quiet, peaceful and leisurely environment, far away from the stress and daily routine which has now become their “new normal.

For additional information please visit: http://www.operationblackhillscabin.org/