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Monday, September 25, 2017

  • Friday, August 04, 2017 4:00 AM
    Wow where did the month of July go. It is over and now time to bring you up to date on all that has happened. 
    Thirty two veterans came to the office and I filled out claims for them. The volunteer drivers transported eight veterans to Roudebush Indianapolis Hospital and Danville Hospital this month. The Military Family Relief Fund gave out $2.945 million last year (July- June). This is the funding which is to help military families in financial need. There were 2,251 who applied and the average was $1,718. The average process time is now 10 days but is always less than 31 days. The $2.9 million represents a doubling of grants from last year. The amount of income from military plates was $891,000 which display we support our troops on them. The service organizations were very happy with the amount of money they received as it was $910,000. The Indiana Veterans Home is now operating in the black. The Bill 1001 also had in it grants for homeless veterans and the IDVA (Indiana Dept. of Veterans Affairs) is working on the procedures and paperwork for that. 
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  • Tuesday, July 11, 2017 4:00 AM
    June was a busy month to say the least. We had 10 veterans given rides by our volunteer drivers to Roudebush at Indianapolis, and three veterans to Danville, Ill. I also had 24 veterans that came to visit the office and received about 25 phone calls this month. Vicki Emmert and I attended the Veteran Service Officer training seminars at Camp Atterbury from Monday the 5th of June through the 8th of June. The training was Visual Impairment services, small group scenario training, developing a claim for the veteran, explain the benefits of having an eBenefits and my Health eVet accounts and we did not forget about the state benefits. We also discussed Traumatic Brain Injury, (the hallmark of the Iraq/Afghanistan war.
    We also discussed the Gulf War disability claims then we discussed how we CVSO’s win Service Connected compensation claims, win benefits for Female Veterans, help with Camp Lejeune and Thailand Herbicide Exposure claims and how we win Appeals; then we discussed Pro bono Legal services briefing. It was nice to visit with the other Veteran Service Officers in our state and put a face to their names as they are great resources. 
    Here is the lowdown on the Indiana Legal Services and its is for those people who are US Citizens or can document legal presence and do not have household assets valued greater than the amount determined by ILS; and meet income requirements at 125 percent of federal poverty guidelines; or Household income between 126 percent and 200 percent, with qualifying expenses. The phone number is 844-243-8570 Monday thru Friday between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this is for anything other than Criminal cases. 
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  • Thursday, May 04, 2017 4:00 AM
    The month of April we had 11 claims filed and I received 40 phone calls. Our volunteer drivers took six veterans to Danville, Ill. and Indianapolis VA Hospital for medical treatment. We are currently looking for more drivers for our VA Vans. Each driver will need a complete medical exam which is the second Tuesday of the month at the VA for you to become a VA Van Driver. So call me if you are interested. 
    The Montgomery County Veteran Treatment Court is in need of more Veteran mentors. This court is to help local veterans who are on probation stay out of jail, such as DUI’s etc. We are blessed that our county has this Veteran Treatment Court in place as not all counties have this program. Please contact Jennifer York at the Probation Office at 364-6460 and leave her a message and she will return a call to you. You will need to commit to every Monday from 2 to 3 p.m. as that is when the court is in session. Twelve veterans have attended the court since it was implemented in 2016. 
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  • Wednesday, April 05, 2017 4:00 AM
    Well another month has gone by and now we’re in April. But before we speak of that, lets look at what happened in March. We had 16 people come to the office. The VA vans were busy in March with nine trips to Indianapolis and six trips to Danville, Ill. If you plan to use the vans for transportation to the VA please try and get your appointments in the morning. Let the office know several days in advance to schedule a driver for you ride to the VA. We run the vans four days a week with Friday being the extra day. 
    Now let’s speak of our Honor Flight that is approaching on April 24. We will have 85 veterans going to Washington and several are from Montgomery County: Robert Cook WWII, Robert Dickey Korean War, John Hall WWII and Korea who was also a POW of WWII, Byron Hamm Jr. Korean War, Martin Chesterson, David Fletcher, Roger Myers, and Glen Conkright all Vietnam veterans. Four guardians who are flying with us in April are Russell Fletcher with David Fletcher, Stephen Rasmussen with Robert Cook, and Sandra with Robert Dickey and Kerry Pearson going with Carl Pearson who is not from Crawfordsville. We would also like to say a big Thank You to the Crawfordsville Neighborhood American Sewing Guild for their donations of the bags for Honor Flight. The Sewing Guild prepared enough bags for all three of our flights in 2017. This is going to be a short newsletter as I am going to the VA for a Heart Cath on Wednesday April 5 for a stint. I will stay for one day in the hospital and then back home.
    Camp Lejeune Vets Awarded Billions for service at Camp Lejeune
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  • Tuesday, March 07, 2017 7:16 PM
    Wow, I can’t believe how fast the time is passing. It is already March and we are still going. We have had 29 visitors this month and I have two meetings outside of the office. I have also meet with the American Legion this month. I have also had 17 people to the Danville and Indianapolis VA this month. I have also had an issue with my heart as I had a heart cath and will be going back to the VA for a second heart cath. They are trying to get a stint in my veins for the second time if that wouldn’t work I will have to have open heart surgery. We will just have to wait and see. It is scheduled for the second week in March.
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  • Saturday, February 04, 2017 4:00 AM
    January 2017 has flown by and we are now into February, which is hard to believe. Our Veterans Office saw 33 visitors and received 44 telephone calls. So we were somewhat busy this month. 
    I attended the meeting in Lafayette for Honor Flight and Honor Flight will fly again on April 24 which is a Monday and for the first time we will have to raise the guardian fee to $500 as the cost to fly our vets has risen. 
    The Veteran Treatment Court is going well. We currently have ten Veterans in the program and one graduated last month. We are in need of veterans to be mentors for the program. If you are interested in mentoring our veterans please call me or email me at 765-361-4133 or email at
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  • Friday, January 06, 2017 4:00 AM
    Wow, another year has come and gone. We are in the year of 2017 and we have a new President and a new administration. So now we will see what president elect Donald Trump can do with our nation as president.
    The following are people who have been caught defrauding the veterans system. A man of the Boston area has been sentenced to a year of probation for stealing nearly $80,000 in federal veterans’ benefits that were erroneously sent to his dead neighbor. Prosecutors say 73-year-old John Ladd was sentenced Tuesday to spend the first six months of probationary period in home confinement and the was ordered to pay full restitution to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He pleaded guilty in August to stealing public money. Prosecutors say Ladd was a caretaker for the woman who died in 2009. The US. Department of Veterans Affairs was not properly notified of the death and continued to deposit her benefits into her bank account each month. Ladd wrote 70 checks to himself from the neighbor’s account, forging her signature, and deposited them into his own account. 
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  • Wednesday, December 07, 2016 4:00 AM
    This past month I attended the Veteran Mentor Corps Boot Camp Program. It is the Mentor program for veterans that want to help with the Veterans Treatment Court. It was very interesting and enlightening. We covered: What is a Veterans Treatment Court? Who is the Justice Involved Veteran Participant? The Role of the Veteran Mentor, Standards, Boundaries and Communications. All of this was to bring the veteran mentor up to standard so that he or she would do what is needed. 
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  • Friday, November 04, 2016 4:00 AM
    Our last Honor Flight of the year was Monday, Oct. 24, 2016 to Washington DC. There were 85 veterans and 85 guardians on board and we had a wonderful trip. On this trip we had three men attend from Montgomery County. They were Roy Bonwell and Art Rice, both World War II veterans and Granville Tate a Korean War veteran. We took the usual trip with stops at the World War II Memorial, and while traveling to our next stop the Lincoln Memorial we ate our box lunches on the bus. Then on to the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial all by bus with a police escort. Next stop was to the Iwo Jima Memorial and then to Arlington Cemetery for the Changing of the Guard Ceremony. Our last stop was to the Air Force Memorial then to the airport where we left for Lafayette. Upon our arrival at Lafayette there were about 350 people waiting on us. It was well received by all. Our next gathering will be a reunion for everyone who went on our trips in 2016 on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. It will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Faith Church on Highway 26 Lafayette. 
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  • Saturday, October 08, 2016 4:00 AM
    It’s been a busy past September for my office. I have taken over the duties of scheduling the VA vans from the Park and Recreation Department. If you are would like to use this service to travel to the VA either to the Danville or the Indianapolis facilities you will now call my office at 765-361-4133 and leave me a message. Your message should state where you are going either Danville or Indianapolis, the date and time of your appointment, your name and your phone number. I will call you back with a confirmation. The vans are located at the Veterans Service Office at 110 West South Boulevard in Crawfordsville just behind the Armory in the old State Highway Department building. This needs to be done a week in advance of your appointment to schedule the drivers for your ride to facility.
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  • Friday, September 02, 2016 4:11 AM
    As we look at the veterans court in Montgomery County we need to look at when it started and where we are going with it.
    The concept of veterans court was the brainchild of Judge Robert T. Russell Jr. of Buffalo, N.Y. The courts provide veterans who come before them with volunteers to help in their rehabilitation. Assistance with such tasks as job hunting, physical fitness, drug counseling, PTSD treatment, college advice and VA health care is available. 
    The Montgomery County Veterans Treatment Court obtained provisional certification from the Indiana Judicial Center in December of 2013 and received full certification in August of 2014. The Court has serviced 13 veterans, five of who have successfully graduated.
    We currently have six participants with plans to expand service throughout the judicial district which includes Montgomery, Warren, Vermillion, Fountain and Parke counties.
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  • Friday, August 05, 2016 12:00 AM

    August is here and time for our monthly news for the Veterans of Montgomery County. 

    The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall will arrive on Aug. 10 to the city of Crawfordsville and the public will be able to view it on the 12, 13 and 14 of Aug. which is just around the corner.  We are going to have the parade on Aug. 10 at 11:30 a.m. for all Vietnam Veterans who want to participate.  Veterans will be marching down Main Street; most of us participating will be using Golf Carts to carry some of our Vietnam Veterans.  The Opening Ceremony is at 11 a.m. on Aug. 12 with the laying of Wreaths and on Aug. 13 the Vietnam Veterans Welcome Homecoming and Vietnam Medal of Honor Recipient Speaker Sammy L. Davis who will speak at 1 p.m. on Aug 13.  Mr. Davis will then assist Mike Hamm who is the Veteran Service Officer of the Indiana Department of Veteran Affairs giving out 50 year pins from Vietnam.  I am asking all Vietnam Veterans to please come out and see the wall. 

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  • Friday, April 08, 2016 12:54 AM

    Wow another month has flown by. What a month. March was here and gone in no time.

    I had one individual that was homeless and so I gave him a sleeping bag and a bag of goodies. He was on his way to Illinois. I also had a number of phone calls that I answered. I had a number of veterans that came in to see me.

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  • Wednesday, January 07, 2015 6:08 PM
    Happy New Year 2015 and we are hoping it will be a great one for you. It will be a challenge for me to remember to use 2015 instead of 2014.

    We had 77 phone calls and 22 appointments in the month of December.

    I would like to give a shout out to Charlie Scruggs and Brandon Hawkins for their continued support of our veterans and going to the assisted living facilities at Christmas so that these veterans are not forgotten. You could see it in the veteran's eyes when they received their gifts. The gifts included calendars, tooth brushes, tooth paste, socks, blankets, deodorant, shampoo, word find and especially the little bear. Thank you all who have donated funds for these things. It is appreciated.

    Now from the Army Times I found this article that talks about the thousands of Vietnam Era soldiers who may have been given punitive discharges because they suffered from PTSD before it was recognized as a debilitating medical condition. This new decision applies only to veterans who received "other than honorable" discharges. It does not apply to veterans who received less than honorable or dishonorable discharges because of serious infractions. It also only applies to Vietnam Era veterans.
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  • Thursday, December 04, 2014 7:47 PM
    I hope everyone one had a great Thanksgiving and were able to share it with family and friends. The start of our Thanksgiving was met with our 2-year-old grandson locking himself in his mom and dad's bedroom with a slide lock. Yes the door did have to come down but all was well.

    I am reminded back about 45 years ago somewhere in Vietnam we had Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimming but not everyone had that. Some were so far into the bush they did not get anything but c-rations and thankful for that. I do know that we loaded hot meals onto Huey's and some on Chinooks to take out to the firebases and smaller compounds so that those guys would have something special. At least for a minute or two you maybe forgot where you were but only for a minute. So today I am just a little bit more thankful for what we have. That is not true I am a LOT more thankful for what we have.
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The Paper of Montgomery County,
a division of Sagamore News Media

201 E. Jefferson Street
P.O. Box 272
Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933
(765) 361-0100
(765) 361-8888
(765) 361-5901
(765) 361-0100 Ext. 18
(765) 361-8888

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