ARMED SERVICES CORNER
NEWS & EVENTS
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Lung Cancer is the leading cause of death among Veterans but is curable if caught early! The percentage of military who smoke is still much higher than the general population. It may be caused by the close association of the United States military with tobacco companies dating back to WW1 when tobacco companies distributed cigarettes to servicemen, even having cigarettes included in rations, until 1975, saying that nicotine helped troops stay alert and boosted morale. As research studies showed the dangers of smoking, the military stopped promoting cigarette use around 1990. The military began strategies to reduce cigarette use, but the rate of smokers among Veterans is still higher than average. Since lung cancer can be cured early, the V.A. has a nationwide program called the Lung Cancer Screening and Surveillance Program. They hope to encourage Veterans to be proactive and get screened for cancer. On September 5, Prescott began screening as well.
The program is for tobacco smokers between the ages of 50 and 80 who currently smoke cigarettes or who have quit in the past 15 years. Pipe, cigar, chewers, and vape smokers are not yet included. It’s a quick 5-minute cat scan (without contrast) to look for issues. They have found 3 in the Northern Area so far so please get a baseline check, then get scanned annually. For more information, contact Theresa Haley R.N., the Lung Cancer Screening Coordinator, at 928-717-7456 Mondays through Thursdays 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For those who want to quit, see your primary care physician to get a prescription for smoking cessation. If you don’t have one, contact Theresa, and she will give you a one-month prescription to get started until you have a primary care doctor.
Veteran's Quarterly Business Mixer November 6, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
This event is specifically tailored towards Veteran-Owned Businesses and the Veteran Community, however, EVERYONE is welcome to attend. These mixers provide a unique opportunity to connect with Veteran business owners, learn about Chamber initiatives for Veterans, and discover how Veterans in Prescott help local businesses. There will be a short announcement to welcome all attendees and the hosting location will discuss their business. Attendees are welcome to a tour of the location afterward.
The EVENT LOCATION has changed! Connection Hub, 120 N. Marina St. Suite B from 5:30 to 6:30pm USAFor Assistance with Registration please contact Crystal Christ Crystal@prescott.org or (928) 445-2000 ext. 117
NAVAHCS Blood Drive Tuesday, Nov. 7 8:30 to 4:30 pm
Please plan to give blood at the V. A. on Tuesday, Nov. 7 in Building 15. Appointments are encouraged by either calling 1-877-258-4825 or visiting www.Donors.vitalant.org (Blood drive code: PVA)
PACT Act Enrollment Claims Event November 9 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Learn more about the PACT Act and get screened. This event will be held at the Fort Mojave Indian Health Center, 1697 Plantation Rd., Mohave Valley. For more information call 928-346-4679 or Andrew.Taylor2@va.gov; Joshua.Wear@va.gov
Each year Prescott holds one of the largest Veterans Day Parades in the state. This year's theme is: Honoring Our Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom Veterans…A New Generation of Warriors. We have 115 entries and all Veterans, especially those who were in these Operations, are invited to walk in the parade to be recognized and thanked for their service. Plan to meet at the corner of Willis and Cortez St. in the Old Foothills Bank parking lot to walk as a group.
The festivities start on Nov. 10 at 10 a.m. for a Wreath Laying Ceremony. The Embry Riddle Army and Air Force ROTC Cadettes will stand guard for 24 hours at the All Veterans Memorial on the West side of the Courthouse along with a brief ceremony with the Mayor and Commanding officer laying a wreath. Then at 10:30 a.m. on Veterans Day, 11/11, the Opening Ceremony will begin at Union and Cortez Streets. The keynote speaker is Eli Crane, a 13-year Navy Seal Veteran, and our U.S. Representative. At 11:00 a.m. the parade begins at Union and Willis with a traditional pause at 11:11 a.m. to read the Veterans Day Proclamation. This is a wonderful tribute to our Veterans and Service Members! Please plan to join RWOP as we march around the Yavapai County Courthouse in the Veteran’s Day Parade! The meeting time is between 9:30 and 9:45 a.m. at our STAGING LOCATION – ON PLEASANT STREET BETWEEN GURLEY ST. AND WILLIS ST. To register, contact Elsie Tyree at 928-778-0235 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One Million Veterans Program November 11 Goal
The U.S. Military is seeking one million Veterans to help with research for Veteran healthcare and is already making an impact. They are 12,000 Veterans shy of that goal and hope to meet it by Veterans Day. The MVP Station is at the Prescott Main Hospital, Building 164 in the Laboratory /Pharmacy Waiting Area Mondays through Thursdays, 7:00 a.m. to noon. Walk-ins are welcome! If you have questions or want more information about the program, go to mvp.va.gov or call 866-441-6075.
Diabetes Education at the VA!
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed as being pre-diabetic or diabetic, the VA offers classes to help you reverse the diagnosis. If you’re pre-diabetic you can learn how to control it and also live healthier if you’re diabetic. Pre-diabetes, which is reversible, is a warning that you are headed for diabetes which cannot be reversed. There are in-person and online classes each month. The in-person classes are on the VA Campus, Building 117 in Room 134. The Pre-Diabetic classes are generally on the 2nd Wednesday of each month online and on the 4th Wednesday of each month in person from 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. The Diabetes classes are usually on the 1st Wednesday online and the 3rd Wednesday in person from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. If you can’t get to a class in person, you can take an online class. The Health Resource Center will provide you with an iPad if you need one. You need the internet. To register for an in-person or an online class, call Kathy Bryson or Janee Lai at 928-445-4860 x 2581. They will send you a booklet before class so you can mark your questions. Those attending online will get an email with the link.
The classes for November and December are:
5th Annual Tribal Veterans Symposium Nov. 17 & 18
This free event will be held at Twin Arrows Navajo Casino and Resort, 22181 Resort Blvd in Flagstaff between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. It is open to Tribal Veterans, military service members and families, providers, partners, and stakeholders. For more information, contact Holly Figuero at Holly.Figuero@azblue.com
WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA – DECEMBER 16 AT 11:00 A.M. Prescott National Cemetery
Wreaths Across America allows you to join a grateful nation in saying “thank you” to our veterans and those who serve. This is a way to Remember an American hero at the Prescott National Cemetery, which is one of more than 4,000 locations nationwide and abroad; Honor those who serve; and Teach the next generation the value of freedom. To do that, your support is needed through volunteering and/or donating. The wreaths are sponsored and the hope is that each hero gets one. Each wreath costs $17 this year. Money donated for each wreath goes to Veteran Service Organizations in the Prescott/Prescott Valley area to assist the ongoing needs of our Veterans. WREATHS CAN BE SPONSORED ONLINE UNTIL NOVEMBER 28, 2023 at: www.wreathsacrossamerica.org and click on “SPONSOR A SPECIFIC CEMETERY" AND USE CEMETERY CODE: AZPNCP for Prescott National Cemetery. If you want to volunteer, contact Diane Brown at DJBrownRN@yahoo.com 480-772-6014 or Robert Jones from the National Cemetery at 928-445-4860 x7569. Volunteers lay wreaths on each marker of a fallen hero. That volunteer will say the Veteran’s name to ensure that the legacy of duty, service, and sacrifice of that veteran is never forgotten. RWOP sponsored 10 wreaths this year.
This 35-minute touching ceremony will be held at the Prescott National Cemetery on Saturday, December 16 at 11:00 a.m. There is no parking at the cemetery, but there is free parking at Yavapai College with a shuttle service to and from the cemetery. The first shuttle starts at 9:00 a.m. and the last shuttle will be at 10:45 a.m. After the ceremony, shuttles will return you to Yavapai College.
Yavapai Republican Men’s Forum
This group’s mission is to educate Republicans on issues ranging from political candidates and governmental policies to authors discussing topics of interest to conservatives. Membership is open to both men and women who are registered Republicans. They have a luncheon meeting from 11:30 to 1:00 p.m. on the 2nd Monday of every month at the Prescott Vibes Event Center. You must be a member to attend. For more information go to www.YRMF.org.
Veterans Connection Hub Now Open!
The Veterans Connection Hub, located at 120 N. Marina St. Suite B in
downtown Prescott, brings together services under one roof.
The new Veterans Connection Hub offers social activities, workshops, PTSD
assistance, and referrals, ensuring veterans and their families feel valued and
welcomed and gives them a place to just hang out together and share community.
The VA will pay for your travel if you need to go to a different VA facility for an appointment, for example, to Phoenix. However, note that the time allotted to submit those claims has changed. VA National now requires you to submit your claims within 30 days of your appointment or they will not be reimbursed. Any questions, please call 928-445-4860 ext. 6144.
The Arizona Dept. of Veteran Services (ADV) assists veterans and their family members in qualifying and applying for benefits. They help with service-connected disabilities to non-service-connected pensions, assist with burial claims, and run an Arizona State Veterans Home, among other services. They can help you determine your benefits and submit claims, including those with the PACT Act and COMPACT Act. They also help with appeals because laws change, diagnoses change, and people get new evidence. They are at the VA in Building 15 three times a week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, but you can also meet with them virtually or on the phone. Call 602-535-1215 for questions and appointments.
PACT (Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxins) Act: Veterans have multiple ways of submitting their claims for Toxic Exposure and there is a lot of good information for reference and to assist Veterans with the new PACT Act Claims. The quickest way is to schedule an in-person or virtual appointment here: https://vets.force.com/VAVERA/s/
If you have questions about the PACT Act go to va.gov/PACT. or call 602-535-1215.
This act is for service members and their survivors who had environmental exposures during their military service. This coverage is extended to veterans of the Viet Nam, Gulf War, and Post 9/11 eras. The burden of proof is no longer on the veteran. There are presumptive conditions such as cancers, Parkinson's Disease, Hypertension, etc. If you’re not enrolled, please do so even if just for this coverage here:
VA.gov/healthcare/apply/application/introduction or call 877-222-8387, M-F, 8:00 am to 8:00 p.m. ET. If you’ve been turned down before, apply again. The rules for eligibility change. The benefits are being paid out now and will be back-dated to August 2022, when the act was signed. The VA warns all Veterans about SCAMS. You do not need a third-party company to fill out the application for you. Often these companies will give you a blank form to sign and say they will fill it out and mail it, or they will have you sign a contract giving them a percentage of your benefits. If you need assistance, go to an accredited group by the VA such as DAV, VFW, or other local Veteran Service Organizations. This Act provides Veterans and their survivors with the benefits and care they have earned and deserve.
Remember the COMPACT Act (Comprehensive Prevention Access to Care Treatment)
As of January 17, 2023 Veterans in Acute Suicidal Crisis can now go to any VA or
non-VA healthcare facility for emergency healthcare at no cost including inpatient or crisis residential care for up to 30 days and outpatient care for up to 90 days. Veterans
do not need to be enrolled in the VA system. You can call 988 (then press 1) to
quickly connect with qualified crisis support 24/7.
VA Benefits can help Veterans and their families buy homes, earn degrees, start careers, stay healthy and more. You can join an event for conversation and information by going to www.va.gov/outreach-and-events/events/to peruse their online events. You can also call the VA Benefits Hotline at 800-827-1000.
If you get a letter of denial from the VA because of your income, please read it completely. At the bottom of the letter is a waiver that you can sign agreeing to pay co-pays. The National Hotline for Eligibility and Enrollment is 877-222-8387. Register even if you don’t use it. Every person increases the Federal money that goes to the local Prescott VA.
The Prescott National Memorial Ladies
The Prescott National Memorial Ladies are looking for a "few good women ''. The Prescott National Memorial Ladies (PNML) was started in 2005 by the Daughters of the American Revolution, General George Crooks Chapter and is modeled after the Ladies of Arlington, founded in 1948.
The Mission of the PNML is to attend Veteran's services at the Prescott National Cemetery; the core Mission is to be there for those veterans with no family. No Veteran should "go Home" alone.
The Ladies consider it a privilege to be considered part of the Honors ceremony with the presentation of a card and a rose to the family.
If you would like to learn more or participate with the Prescott National Memorial Ladies, contact Darlene Packard at 928-848-0626 or email@example.com.
DAV (Disabled America Veterans) Needs Drivers!
Among the services that DAV provides is transportation. They shuttle veterans to and from their medical appointments in Northern Arizona, which is 40,000 square miles. Volunteers are needed to drive as well as maintain the vehicles. Volunteers get a physical and a background check at no cost to them. Training will be provided. If interested, call the VA Volunteer Services at 928-776-6013.
VA DESPERATELY NEEDS Ambassadors, Greenhouse, Wheelchair Assistants, etc.
If you have time to help, call Volunteer Services at 928-776-6013.They can use Ambassadors at the information desk, Wheelchair Assistants, help in the ER room with lab work, Greenhouse, and many other opportunities. The Greenhouse also has an Adopt-a-Plant program that you can take home and care for or leave it there and care for it. If you haven’t seen the Greenhouse, stop by. There is a process of getting fingerprinted and a background check, but they make it fast and easy, and the work is very rewarding.
AMERICAN LEGION HONOR GUARD POST 6 PRESCOTT NEEDS MORE MEMBERS – Military Background not Required
The American Legion Post 6 Honor Guard performs services to recognize Veterans at their burials. They have had several members who have aged out so they are actively seeking individuals, military or not, to become part of their team. They will train you! In the past 2 months, members have donated 550 hours of service to the VA for 61 veterans and 5 Color Guard events. If you want to become part of this prestigious group, contact Dan Tillman at 928-273-5146.
ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve)
Another volunteer opportunity is with the ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve). These volunteers work to promote and enhance employer support for military service in the Guard and Reserve. Contact is Larry Jacobs, Regional Director at 602-380-3829.
MILLION VETERANS PROGRAM (MVP)
VA’s Million Veteran Program (MVP) is a research program working to improve
the health and wellness of Veterans. They want to enroll one million Veterans in 2023 and want women to have more representation in their research. If more women join MVP, then MVP can strengthen its research findings for Women Veterans of all backgrounds. Women who have served in the military have additional factors that affect breast cancer, depression, PTSD (women are twice as likely to experience this as men), and military sexual trauma, to name a few. Visit https://www.research.va.gov/mvp/ for more information. The Center for Women Veterans (CWV) is sharing information about recently published research related to women Veterans on a monthly basis. Go to:
Women Veterans, if you are receiving health care in a non-VA facility, it is important to let your provider know about your military service and how that can impact your health care needs. Let your non-VA healthcare teams know about this free, one-hour, accredited training course they may take to learn ways to provide women Veterans with the best care possible. Use this link to the training module: “Caring for Women Veterans” https://www.womenshealth.va.gov/WOMENSHEALTH/non-va-clinicians.asp
Asbestos was used extensively all throughout the military. We now know about the diseases that exposure to asbestos causes, however, the damage has already been done for many veterans, and asbestos is still in military applications. For a guide that lists 20 ways that asbestos was used in the military, visit the website shown.
20 Ways Asbestos Was Used in the Military bergmanlegal.com/military-
asbestos-exposure/. You can also get help from VA Claims Assistance with Asbestos Exposure.
FREE CAREER GUIDANCE FOR VETERANS
Compensated Work Therapy (CWT)
The V.A. offers an evidence-based vocational program to assist Veterans with PTSD, serious mental illness, traumatic brain injuries and other physical disability to find employment that they feel satisfied with and that gives them a sense of purpose and helps them maintain that job. They offer Transitional Work where they match Veterans to work assignment and Supported Employment where they do a vocational assessment and analysis to find out what the Veteran would like to do,
build a resume, and do the search. They advocate for the Veteran to increase the Veteran’s confidence for the interview with a prospective employer and help with the transition to the job. If a Veteran wants to get involved, go to your provider and request a CWT referral. For questions call John at 928-445-7860 x 6834.
Maritime Injury Center (MIC) is a detailed resource for mariners and military alike -- with info on everything from military transition to maritime, maritime education, mental health, the Jones Act, and more. For more information go to https://www.maritimeinjurycenter.com/support-for-veterans-
CORPORATE PARTNERS HELP VETS GET JOBS
American Corporate Partners (ACP) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to helping military post-9/11 Veterans get civilian jobs. ACP provides quick career advice and networking, with an unlimited amount of business leaders in its free online question-and-answer community. ACP also has a weekly LinkedIn Live series that connects Veterans directly to partner companies and hiring managers every Wednesday. To get started visit ACP’s website and fill out a brief application where you can answer questions about your career goals, military experience, and mentoring preferences.
LIFE INSURANCE FOR VETERANS
VA Insurance Service is highlighting its mission to provide our Nation’s Veterans, service members, and military families with life insurance products and services. There are several life insurance programs available for service-connected Veterans and upcoming changes will expand the benefit to even more Veterans in honor of their service. Currently, Veterans with service-connected disabilities have Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance (S-DVI). New enrollment for this ended on December 31, 2022. On January 1, 2023, VA Life, began. For more information about these insurance programs visit https://www.va.gov/life-insurance.
Veteran Death Benefits
Veterans can download a free guide, “Veteran Death Benefits and Memorialization for Service Members and Their Families.” If you have questions either visit www.neptunesociety.com or call 800-637-8883.
My Healthy Vet
This is a great tool for veterans to see their medical appointments, prescriptions, and medical records, order prescriptions, and even send messages to their medical team. They often get back to you the same day but will reply in 2 days at most. You can enroll at www.myhealth.va.gov/ and click the REGISTER button. For questions contact Destiny Sanchez, the My Healthy Vet Coordinator. She will be happy to assist you. You can call 928-445-4860 x6488 to make an appointment.. You can also do a video appointment. They need to see you first for visual authentication. Telehealth medicine is especially important in Northern Arizona where NAVAHCS covers an area bigger than the state of Rhode Island with 33, 000 veterans. There are Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC) to help, but often a tele visit is easier for veterans and families. The VA wants to make it easier to have veterans to connect with their providers over smartphones, computers, or iPads. If you don't have any of these, you can utilize a computer at the public library, but also the VA will give veterans an iPad. The veteran just needs to provide internet access.
If you would like to change your care team, contact your primary care department and make a Team Transfer Request.
As of April 21st, there will be a new Veterans Health Resource Center (VHRC) where you can sit down with a local person to get help downloading apps to track your appointments, etc. You just need to bring your iPad or smartphone, and they will help you get set up. More information will be forthcoming as it is available.
Veterans of Foreign Wars – Post 541
If you’re a veteran who has been in combat or a battle zone, VFW Post 541 welcomes new members. Their mission is to be a voice for veterans, deployed military, and their families to secure rights and benefits. They meet the first Thursday of every month. The address is 202 N. Arizona Avenue in Prescott. For questions call 928-776-1125; email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit vfw541.org.
Women’s Health Call Center
Cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer of women. Women Services at the VA specifically addresses that. If you have questions about benefits, enrollment, disability, etc. you can contact the Women’s Health Call Center at 855-829-6636 between the hours of M-F 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET or visit www.womenshealth.va.gov.
Disposal of American Flags
If you have a damaged American flag that you need to dispose of properly, bring it to the monthly RWOP luncheons where we will have a drop box. Judi Williams, Hospitality and RWOP singer, will take them to the American Legion Post 6 or VFW Post 541 which handles that process.
Veterans Mentor Program
The Veterans Treatment Court is looking for veterans in the community to provide support, encouragement and assistance to veterans involved in the justice system. The Veterans Treatment Court, which is part of the Yavapai County Superior Court, is tapping into the unique aspects of military and veteran culture and using them to the benefit of veterans. To serve as a mentor you need to complete a short application and have current or prior military service. Once your application is received, you will be contacted by the mentor coordinator. The participants are involved in the treatment court process with their fellow veterans, re-instilling the sense of camaraderie they felt while in the military. Those interested in participating in the Veterans Mentor Program or that have questions regarding the commitment of a mentor, can contact Kathy Ryder at 928-777-7996.
Homeless Veterans Program
The VA has a Homeless program in Building 151, lower C. Walk-ins are welcome between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. There are free showers and laundry facilities and sometimes clothing is available as well. If you are interested in renting to a homeless vet, click on www.va.gov/homeless. HUD pays 2/3 of the rent for low income veterans and the veteran pays 1/3. There is a National Homeless Hotline where you can find local resources by calling 1-877-424-3838
CAREGIVER BENEFITS TO EXPAND TO ALL VETERANS
EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2022!
Veterans of all eras were eligible for caregiver benefits on Oct. 1, 2022, an expansion that is expected to add thousands of families to the program in 2023. It is designed to support and compensate full-time caregivers providing at-home assistance to severely wounded veterans. The caregiver support line (855-260-3274) is ready and has double the number of staff on board in case anyone has any issues or concerns. For more information, visit https://www.va.gov/family-member-benefits/ to apply and complete VA form 10-10CG.
VFW’s Sport Clips Help a Hero Scholarship Applications
The VFW offers scholarships up to $5,000! For Fall semester you can apply between January 1 and April 30. Scholarships are awarded in August. For Spring semester, you can apply between August 1 and November 15. Scholarships will be awarded in January. There are qualifications such as: U.S. Citizen; Retired, Honorably Discharged, or Active Military or a member of the National Guard or Reserve; Have completed Basic and Advanced Training; E5 or below rank; Show the need for assistance. Visit: https://vfw.org/assistance/student-veterans-support for details and to apply.
FREE OUTDOOR RETREATS FOR PURPLE HEART VETERANS-The Warrior Bonfire Program
The goal of the Warrior Bonfire Program is to support post-9/11 Purple Heart Veterans. They organize outdoor retreats to build friendships and camaraderie at events such as golfing, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding. The Warrior Bonfire Program’s tagline is “pain shared is pain divided; joy shared is joy multiplied.” The Warrior Bonfire Program also organizes an initiative called Bonfire Leaders. That program consists of Purple Heart Veterans who have gone through the program and decided they want to give back in various ways. They are trained to be leaders for retreats, speakers, and mentors, and to serve as peer support for Veterans during stressful times. Veterans can register at https://warriorbonfireprogram.org.
DAV accepts clothing, housewares, furniture etc. DAV has trucks to pick up large items.
US VETS accepts food donations for their food pantry. They also need NEW sheets, pillows, towels, toiletries, sleeping bags for the transitional housing. Take items to the U.S. VETS Outreach Center at 1040 Whipple Street, front building
US VETS accepts food donations for their food pantry. They also need NEW sheets, pillows, towels, toiletries, sleeping bags for the transitional housing. Take items to the U.S. VETS Outreach Center at 1040 Whipple Street, front building
The National Crisis Line is now easier to remember! Simply Dial 988 then Press 1.
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