Sat, Nov 25, 2017

 

Veterans Affairs

Please contact the First Selectman's office for information and referrals at 860-928-0208 x336.

Soldiers Sailors and Marines Fund Representative, Tom Pandolfi has office hours in the Putnam Town Hall (126 Church Street, Putnam) every Friday from 9am - 11am.  Messages for Tom can be left at 860-963-6800 x160 or on his email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. CLICK HERE to read an interesting article about Tom, who is an exemplary Woodstock citizen!

 

Connecticut Military Community Coalition Meeting Schedule:  Click here for the 2017 Meeting Schedule.  Please note:  The location of the September 20th meeting has been changed to Room 229 of the Armed Forces Reserve Center.

 

RSVP Veterans Coffeehouse 

The Veterans Coffeehouse  is located at the Killingly Community Center, 185 Broad Street, Danielson.   Please contact Greg Kline at 860-774-9286 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions or to join his wonderful group of volunteers.

Danielson Veterans Coffeehouse is collecting old cell phones and their chargers which are provided to Veterans and others in homeless shelters.  Please drop them off at the coffeehouse or any Veteran member.

We are pleased to share the following upcoming programs info for the RSVP Veterans Coffeehouse:

  • November 21 - Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery - Jay Osborne and Katie from CCAR envisions a world where the power, hope and healing of recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction is thoroughly understood and embraced.  CCAR is a centralized resource in Connecticut for all things recovery.  Whether you are contemplating a life in recovery, are new to recovery or are in long term recovery, CCAR is here to help you to navigate the recovery community, by connecting you with others in recovery and providing access area support services.  Living in recovery from alcohol and other drugs is a never ending journey, and wherever you are in that journey, CCAR is here to help you meet your recovery goals.
  • November 28 - Diane Patterson will educate seniors on the basics of Medicare as well as explaining specific plan benefits, Social Security Advantage Plans, Medicare Supplement Medicare Services, ConnectiCare, etc.  She will talk about different plans that are available and VA coverage in conjunction with Medicare.  She will also have someone available to sign up people for the various plans.

 

Westfield Congregational Church will host a new Evening Veterans Coffeehouse at 7:00 pm on the First Friday of each month.  Volunteers Fred Ruhlemann, Cecile Stanzione and Jenny Donais are leading this new endeavor which promises to entertain and inform.  Open to all veterans, any ages, and their guests.

The Veterans Coffeehouse is looking for guest speakers on any topics every Tuesday morning from 9:00 am till it ends.  Please email Tom Pandolfi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Weather-related closing policy re:  RSVP and the Veteran's Coffeehouse: 

  • If the KCC (Killingly Community Center) is closed, the Veteran's Coffeehouse and RSVP office will not be open.  This usually follows announcements that the Killingly Town Hall is closed.
  • The KCC does not automatically close if the Killingly schools are closed.  Please listen to WINY Radio for announcements when there are school closings, municipal office closings, and delayed openings.
  • If TVCCA is closed, then the Coffeehouse and RSVP office will also be closed.
  • If there is to be a late opening, there will be an attempt to get WINY Radio to make an announcement regarding the Veteran's Coffeehouse and the RSVP office.  To be certain you get the correct info, please listen to WINY Radio or follow the postings on TV.

 

Veterans Services

VA Claims Process:  Below is some advice from other vets that have been successful navigating the VA claims process. 

The first step for a vet wanting to win a VA claim is to find a VSO (Veteran Service Officer).  These folks are experts that do not work for the VA. They are veteran's advocates that work for the VFW, DAV, American Legion, etc.  They can often be found in VA hospitals or county offices.  They will ask for a copy of you DD-214/215.

The second step is to file a claim for a presumptive disease or a non-contestable issue like tinnitus.  If the claim is not going to be automatically granted (presumptive or non-contestable), you need to have a condition that occurred in service and be able to prove it - such as gunshot wound residuals or PTSD; in short, an official diagnosis and a nexus.

A nexus or service connection is imperative.  This might be a doctor's statement that states that your condition more likely than not was the result of your service.  Perhaps the best advice is to immediately take any correspondence that you get from the VA directly to your VSO.  Trying to respond to the VA yourself can be very discouraging.  The VSO knows how to deal with VA correspondence.

After you contact a Veteran Service Officer (VSO), you can ask your Member of Congress or Senator to place a congressional flash on the claim to expedite the claim if you:

  • Can prove financial hardship (late bills)
  • Impending homelessness (notice to quit or late mortgage notice)
  • Claimant is over 88 years old
  • Former POW
  • Hospice/end of life care letter from doctor

The congressional flash and assistance from Congressman Courtney's office will ensure it is completed as fast as possible.  Please call Congressman Courtney's office at 860-886-0139 and speak with his Vet Rep to expedite a claim at the VA.

NEW:  VA Photo IDs:  Military.com has reported that honorably discharged veterans from every era will be able to get a photo identification card from the Department of Veterans Affairs beginning in November due to a law passed in 2015.

VA Pensions: The non-service connected pension is for very vulnerable veterans that live at the poverty line.  Ask a VSO for assistance with this application too.

The State of CT has two outstanding VSOs in the Norwich Office and you can reach them for consultation or make an appointment at 860-887-9162.

State of Connecticut Guide to Benefits - Please see visit this website:  http://portal.ct.gov/DVA/Pages/State-of-CT-Guide-to-Benefits/Benefits

Online Tutoring:  The U. S. Department of Defense provides online tutoring from Tutor.com at no cost to DoD service members.  Eligible students can connect to a live tutor online at any time for one-to-one help with homework, test prep, proofreading and more in  40+ subjects.  Click here to learn more.

Puppies Behind Bars:  Prison inmates train service dogs for wounded veterans and explosive detection canines for law enforcement.  Click here for information.

FREE Acupuncture for Veterans and Military:   Click here for information.

Horse Feathers Veterans Program specializes in helping veterans with post-traumatic stress and/or with physical challenges.  Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Evelyn Bailey, Asst. Director 860-581-0902 or Jackie Mickiewicz, Coordinator 860-550-1955.

The Department of Homeland Security is hiring veterans. Click here to go to their website.

Train as a Volunteer to Help Hospice Patients:  Click here for information.

Shop Online:  Benefits Honorably Discharged Veterans.  Click here for information.

UCONN School of Business Course:  Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities.  Click here for information

 

Veterans Events

U.S. MILITARY MUSEUM, INC.  2017 Open Turret Days Schedule

Holiday Party in Norwich: The Norwich Vet Center Holiday Party will be held on Thursday, December 21 from 12:00 - 3:00 p.m. at the American Legion, 457 Laurel Hill Avenue, Norwich, CT 06360.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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