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Sunday, September 23, 2018

  • Tuesday, September 11, 2018 10:18 PM
    September has arrived with some heat but cooler weather is coming in. Our volunteer drivers escorted eight Veterans to Roudebush Hospital in Indianapolis and four Veterans to Danville, Ill. Any veteran that needs a ride to either hospital can contact me at 765-361-4133 at least a week before you need to be there. The phone lines were busy this past month with forty eight phone calls to the office and eleven veterans came into my office this month with appointments. 
    Our office hours are as follows: Monday & Wednesday. 9am till 12:00 noon and 1pm till 4:30 PM then on Tuesday and Thursday 9am till Noon. The Veterans of Montgomery County are currently receiving a total of $85,660 per month in benefits. 
    Walgreens is now offering No-Cost flu shots for Veterans; please take your DD-214 or a Veteran ID card with you. We will again be offering free flu shots at the Veteran Expo on Thursday October 18th from 8 am till 2pm. This year Whitlock Place will be giving flu shots on Tuesday, September. 18th from 9:00 – 12:00. 
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  • Friday, August 10, 2018 4:00 AM
    Cannot believe it is August with temperatures being mild and students going back to school already. The month of July was a little more in line with what we are used to as we had 13 Veterans that were escorted to Roudebush Hospital in Indianapolis, and three Veterans who went to Danville, Ill. Please call me at (765) 361-4133 at least a week before to schedule a ride to either hospital. I had 58 phone calls to the office and 21 visitors. A lot of paperwork was filled out.
    I spent one week at Camp Atterbury for training and it was good to see the other VSOs in the state as to what is going on elsewhere. The Montgomery County Veterans received a total of $85,660 in benefits in July. 
    Again our office hours are as follows: Monday it is 9 a.m. to noon and then head to Veterans Court then back to office till 4:30 pm. Wednesday 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday office hours are 9 a.m. till noon.
    There has been a question on whether or not you should take Part “B” of Medicare or not. There is not a clear answer as if you are ok with paying say an Ambulance ride to a hospital or a doctor’s visit then you don’t need to take part “B” and if you are at 100 percent you would not need to take it, but if you don’t have 100 percent and you don’t always go to the VA for doctor visits then you would need to take it. 
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  • Thursday, July 5, 2018 4:00 AM
    Hope everyone enjoyed their 4th of July with the extreme heat. Cooler weather would be nice. The office has been busier this month with forty nine phone calls and nineteen visitors. 
    Our local volunteer drivers escorted eleven veterans to Roudebush VA hospital in Indianapolis and four veterans to Danville VA hospital. Any veteran who needs a ride to the VA should contact my office at 765-361-4133 preferably a week in advance to be able to get a volunteer to drive. It is best to make your appointments for the morning Monday through Friday. 
    Update a lift chair was located for the veteran in need last month. Thank you Ralph LeJune. 
    I will be out of town the week of July 9-July 12th for training. 
    On Saturday July 28th Whitlock Place will be hosting a Veterans Picnic from 11am -2pm. The Boy Scouts Color Guard will be kicking off the festivities. Please join us to honor our veterans and raise funds for Honor Flights & Operation Comfort Warriors. Enjoy a delicious lunch for $5 while listening to music featuring the patriotic sounds of “Farmers Daughter” and local favorites Terry Smith’s band, “Like Father, Like Son” & The Tony Page Band. 
    The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor Closed Indefinitely. 
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  • Saturday, June 16, 2018 4:00 AM
    June has arrived with the temperatures being very mild and we welcome this. This month was rather slow in the office with receiving only 18 phone calls and eleven visitors to the office. Our local volunteer drivers escorted nine veterans to Roudebush VA hospital in Indianapolis and two Veterans to the Danville VA Hospital. Any veteran who needs a ride to the VA should contact my office at 765-361-4133 preferably a week in advance to be able to get a volunteer to drive. It is best to make your appointments for the morning Monday through Friday. 
    We are looking for a Lift Chair for a veteran. If you have one for sale, please call the office at 1-(765) 361-4133 we need it within two weeks of this letter.
    We have a new event for County Veterans. All veterans are invited to email and or call retired college-HS teacher Coach Mike Walker, who holds a BS and MA degree in Health-Nutrition and Fitness to receive free information in all of those 3 areas. His info for vets can be received via email or in his monthly class to be held in Crawfordsville with classes starting in July. So please call or email Coach Walker and let him know if you would be interested in (1) his new monthly class or (2) his email… or both. It’s all about health-nutrition and fitness for Vets. Coach Walker is a 1958 CHS grad and was born and raised in Crawfordsville. He is offering this program for Vets….to honor the memory of his two brothers from Crawfordsville, Captain Jack Walker (Army) (Korea) and PFC Joe Walker (Vietnam). Email Coach Walker at coach.mikewalker@comcast.net or call him at 765-635-6360. 
    Another local event will be Monday, June 25 th at the Crawfordsville District Public Library from ten o’clock to Noon with Congressman Todd Rokita presents Indiana’s 4th District Veterans Office Hours for any questions you may have for him. 
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  • Friday, May 11, 2018 4:00 AM
    May is here and the weather has changed, warm weather has arrived! Hooray! Well we have had a very busy month. We had fifty three phone calls to the office and seventeen visits.
    Our volunteer van drivers have escorted eight veterans to Roudebush in Indianapolis and seven veterans to the Danville, Ill. to the VA. I have had two people call to sign up to be VA van drivers and I want to say thank you.
    What is the veteran Award Recovery you ask? It is the amount of money given to veterans who have war related disabilities. Our county veterans received compensation in the amount of 91,493.00 this past month. 
    Honor Flight was April 17, 2018, when 85 veterans along with their guardians went to Washington D.C. to see their memorials and it was again great. It was a little cool but they still had a fantastic time. For the first time we stopped at the Pentagon to see the memorial for those that lost their lives on 9.11.2001. It was very surreal. 
    Now I need to ask the people of Montgomery County to let me know who the oldest veteran of Montgomery County is. We are doing something special to recognize that veteran. Please call me at 765-401-0432. 
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  • Wednesday, May 2, 2018 4:00 AM
    Well the weather thus far for April has really been interesting. I think the April Fool Prankster is still out an about playing with Mother Nature. I’m looking forward to warmer weather, sooner than later this spring. Our volunteer VA Van drivers have escorted 12 veterans to Roudebush in Indianapolis and eight veterans to the Danville, Ill. to the VA. We are in search of more volunteer drivers as one is having health issues of his own and another one a family member whom has health issue that are keeping them both from volunteering. If you would be interested in becoming a volunteer driver please call the office at (765) 401-0432.
    What is the Veteran Award Recovery you ask? It is the amount of money given to veterans who have war related disabilities. Our County veterans received compensation in the amount of $75,588.00 this past month. 
    The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall will be coming back to Indiana this summer over at Ft. Harrison at Lawrence. It will be displayed one block north of the Finance Center on Lawton Loop Parade Field in Lawrence from May 31 to June 4, 2018. The opening ceremony will be Saturday, June 2, 2018 Saturday at 2 p.m. So if you have time take a road trip over to see it again. 
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  • Wednesday, March 21, 2018 4:00 AM
    The short month of February is gone and there is spring in the air with the spring daffodils coming up. That is great to hear. But, now let’s get down to the real reason we are here. In the month of February the volunteer drivers transported seven veterans to Indianapolis and six veterans to Danville, IL. We have six drivers that are active in driving for our County veterans. 
    My office hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 9 a.m. till noon. On Wednesday I will be in from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. till 4:30 p.m. Please call me if these times don’t fit your schedule. 
    I have new information for you it is the money the veterans and their spouses receive from the VA. The amount for this month in February was $76,258.50. These are funds that Veterans in Montgomery County received from service related issues. This includes American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans. If you feel you have a service related problem please give the office a call. I do almost all the paperwork on-line now. 
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  • Thursday, February 8, 2018 4:00 AM
    I hope everyone kept as warm as possible this past January. It was a cold month and our volunteer drivers still traveled to Indianapolis to the Roudebush Veterans Hospital with fifteen veterans and one veteran to Danville Illinois Hospital. We are very grateful to be able to do this. Not a lot of foot traffic with the cold weather with only nine coming in for a visit but several calls. 
    My office hours for February will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to noon and on Wednesday I will also be available from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. Other arrangements for scheduling can be made if necessary for appointments.
    Now let’s discuss the VIC or the Veteran Identification Card and how you order it. First of all if you already have the Hospital Card for one of the VA hospitals you will not need to get the VIC. If you don’t have a VA ID card then you should order this card. 
    Before You Start
    Make sure you have a copy of a state or federal Issued ID and a photo saved (Size limit 3MB) on the device you will be using. Please use the instructions below to submit a request for your Veteran ID Card. 
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  • Friday, January 5, 2018 4:00 AM
    Here’s to the New Year. May it be a wonderful and prosperous year for all. December was a busy month with 41 phone calls. The VA Volunteer van drivers transported nine veterans to VAMC Roudebush Indianapolis, and three veterans to VAMC Danville, Ill. I am really glad that we were able to take these veterans to their appointments. 
    Now for some things we tend to forget to tell you. We have six drivers and two vans that serve the veterans that go to Indy and Danville to the hospitals. We just need a weeks’ notice to make it happen and would prefer to have the appt between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. We are always looking for extra volunteers to drive the vans. You do not have to be a veteran to drive a van. If you are interested please call the office as there is paperwork to fill out and it also requires a physical before becoming an official driver. 
    A good way to start the year is to take your DD-214 to the Montgomery County Recorder’s Office in the courthouse and they will record it for free for you. So many times we have family and veterans who cannot locate their papers due to a move or a fire. This will save you and your family a lot of trouble as this paper is vital for veteran’s benefits and burial with a military funeral as you will only need to go to the courthouse and show your ID to get a copy for yourself. It takes at least four weeks to file for a new copy through my office.
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  • Friday, December 15, 2017 4:00 AM
    Happy Belated Thanksgiving to all of you. The Veteran Newsletter is back! I am very well from my double by-pass heart surgery on October 4th and I will be working now thru Jan 2018 Tuesday and Thursday’s in the morning. Please call me on my office phone 765-361-4133 and I will return your call.
    While I was gone this is what happened. In October and November our volunteer VA Van drivers transported veterans twenty three times to either Indy or Danville taking them to their appointments at the hospitals. In my absence we had 45 Veterans call in to the office. Vicki Emmert and Karen Arnold helped in my absence. They also had several walk in veterans that they assisted. Many thanks to the surrounding Veteran Service Officers who helped these veterans and families out. 
    Now here is a real important thing to note. The VA announced a rollout and Application Process for the New Veterans I D card. This was mandated through legislation since 2015 to honor Veterans, and today’s rollout of the ID card fulfills that overdue promise. 
    Only those Veterans with Honorable service will be able to apply for the I D card, which will provide proof of military service, and may be accepted by retailers in lieu of Standard DD-214 form to obtain promotional discounts and other services where offered to Veterans. 
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  • Friday, December 8, 2017 4:00 AM
    Wow November has come and gone, where did it go? The Veteran Newsletter is back. I am very well from my Surgery on October 4th and I will be working now thru Jan 2018 Tuesday and Thursday in the am. Please call me on my phone 765-361-4133 and I will return a call to you.
    Now here is what happened in November while I was gone. I had 45 Veterans call in to the office and Vicki Emmert and Karen Arnold helped in my absence. We had 4 veterans go to Indianapolis using the DAV Vans. I also had 1 veteran take the DAV Van to Danville, IL.
    Now here is a real important thing to note. The VA announces rollout and Application Process for the New Veterans I D card. This was mandated through legesilation since 2015 to honor Veterans, and today’s rollout of the ID card fulfills that overdue promise.
    Only those Veterans with Honorable service will be able to apply for the I D card, which will provide proof of military service, and may be accepted by retailers in lieu of Standard DD-214 form to obtain promotional discounts and other services where offered to Veterans.
    The new Veterans Identification Card provides a safer and more convenient and efficient way for most Veterans to show proof of Service. With this Card, Veterans with honorable service to our nation will no longer need to carry around there paper DD-214s to obtain Veteran Discounts and other services.
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  • Thursday, October 19, 2017 4:00 AM
    October is here, where did September go? Thanks to the Volunteer drivers, three veterans were driven to the Danville Veterans Hospital and five to the Indianapolis Veterans Hospital. There were 22 veterans that came to the office the month of September. There is always activity going on at the office. 
    While 44 percent of all veterans use at least one VA benefit, several lesser-known benefits could help Veterans live better, healthier lives. Here are three lesser-known benefits Veterans may be eligible to receive.
    Home loan Refinancing VA’s home loan program offers Veterans different refinancing options:
    Cash –Out refinance Loans- Veterans can take advantage of their home’s equity to take cash out through refinancing, or refinance a non-VA loan into a VA-guaranteed loan. Interest Rate reduction refinance loans-Veterans may be able to lower their monthly mortgage payment by obtaining a lower-interest loan.
    Native American Veterans
    For Native American Veterans who want to live on Federal Trust Land, VA’s Native American Direct Loan program is another option. It provides direct loans to eligible Native American Veterans for the purchase, construction, or improvement of a home. Learn more about NADL.
    Adapted Homes for Disabled Veterans
    VA also offers grants to Veterans with certain service-connected disabilities to build an adapted home or install ramps, widen doors, or make other modifications to love more independently. VA operates three types of grants that accommodate Veterans unique circumstances: Specially Adapted Housing, Special Housing Adaptation, and Temporary Residence Adaptations. 
    Help for Homeless Veterans 
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  • Tuesday, October 10, 2017 9:16 PM
    Wow, August has now passed and we are into September already. Thanks to the Volunteer drivers, nine veterans were driven to the Danville Veterans Hospital and three to the Indianapolis Veterans Hospital. The office has been busy with 32 visitors of Veterans and their spouses coming to the office for information with numerous phone calls too. 
    A nationwide shortage of Psychiatrists has created a similar shortage in the U.S. Veterans Affairs department, which can amplify the department’s challenge in having sufficient staff to provide mental health care to veterans. A 2015 report showed the VA was critically short on psychiatrists. The report, published by the VA inspector general, said more than two-thirds of VA health care facilities studied-94 of 140 needed more psychiatrists on staff to meet the demand. To fill those gaps, VA hospitals often contract with private practice psychiatrists. But the problem is the private sector also is woefully short on psychiatrists. The shortage is being felt across the country. Dr. Atul Grover, executive vice president of the Association of American Medical Colleges, recently told Forbes that expanded access to health care under federal reforms has led to more people seeking mental health care and thus put a strain on the availability of mental health professionals. A 2017 report said psychiatrists have become the second-most highly recruited physicians, trailing only family physicians. 
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  • Friday, August 4, 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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The Paper of Montgomery County,
a division of Sagamore News Media 
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Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933

 

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