Thu, Feb 23, 2017

 

Veteran's 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!

Consider meeting some great people at the RSVP Veteran's Coffeehouse.  The Veteran's Coffeehouse will reopen for the fall on Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 at 9am, in room 215 of the Killingly Community Center, 185 Broad Street, Danielson.  The program returns for its Tuesday morning gatherings from 9am - noon, after being on hiatus for the summer.  Meetings are also held on the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 6pm - 7:30pm for those veterans who cannot come during the daytime.  Military veterans of all ages are invited to have a cup of coffee, connect, and build camaraderie while discussing common issues and needs.  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.

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

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.  This new program launches Friday, October 7th, 2016 at 7:00 pm with a presentation by the Natchaug River Young Marines.  Open to all veterans, any ages, and their guests.

The Veterans Coffeehouse has posted their 2017 Winter/Spring Schedule.  Click here.  Also, the 2017 Early Spring Schedule is now available for viewing. 

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.

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.

To add that 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.

There are VA pensions available too.  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 VSO in the Norwich Office and you can reach them for consultation or make an appointment at 860-887-9162.

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.

DOG TAGS:  Service Dogs for those who have served us.  Puppies Behind Bars trains prison inmates to raise service dogs for wounded veterans and explosive detection canines for law enforcement.  Click here for information.

ACUPUNCTURE FOR VETERANS & MILITARY: Warriors or Warriors offers absolutely FREE Acupuncture for Veterans and Military at the East Lyme Community Center, 41 Society Road, Niantic, CT.  Ongoing treatments are on all 2nd and 4th Monday nights, from 19:00 - 21:00 hours. 

VETERAN'S CHOICE PROGRAM OVERVIEW:  Eligibility requirements as of December 1, 2015.  Valuable information regarding VACAA or "Choice Act".

Click here for the January 2017 Newsletter.

Save the VSCC:  Due to circumstances beyond control, the Veterans Strong Community Center in Bristol is facing closure at the end of the year.  The program was a re-boot of a USAR program that was defunded in June 2016.  Bristol Veterans Council, Inc., a 501(c)(3), has been attempting to locate permanent funding to keep the Center open and running, but have not yet been successful.  Follow the link https://www.crowdrise.com/bristol-ct-veterans-councillin-veterans-strong-com

GOODWIN COLLEGE HAS OPENED A STATE OF THE ART DENTAL HYGIENE CLINIC, 403 MAIN STREET, EAST HARTFORD, CT.  The clinic offers free dental care for all ages which include:  oral cancer screenings, x-rays, scaling & plaque removal, polishing, fluoride treatments, sealants, whitening, and more along with take home care kits with health instructions.  Dental appointment request link:  http://www.goodwin.edu/forms/dental-appointment

MASONICARE'S VETERAN-TO-VETERAN VOLUNTEER PROGRAM NEEDS YOUHospice volunteering.  Free training classes are available.  Please call East Lyme Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, Wendy Worley at 860-451-6157.

Horse Feathers Veterans Program specializes in helping veterans with post-traumatic stress and welcome veterans with physical challenges.  The program involves pairing veterans with horses and other rescue animals to facilitate self-awareness and promote healing for those affected by emotional or physical trauma.  Dave Bradham is the Director, a Certified Driving Instructor with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH).  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.

UPCOMING EVENTS

JOY OF ART!:  Art Workshops for veterans and their family and friends.  Dates are Saturday, 2/25 and 3/4 from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm at the HSC Research and Education Center Conference Room, 370 Osgood Avenue, New Britain.  Call 860-827-1958 x2771 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register by February 13th.

FIRST FRIDAY MARCH 3RD EVENING VETERANS COFFEEHOUSE:  The RSVP Veterans Coffeehouse is pleased to welcome multi-talented performer Sarah Jo Burke of Woodstock to the evening Veterans Coffeehouse on First Friday, March 3rd, at 7:00 pm, at the Westfield Congregational Church in Danielson.  Ms. Burke's career began in the 1960s as the youngest in a large family group.  She sings, plays guitar and flute and performs folk, blues, jazz and traditional Irish music.  For more information go to www.sarahjoburke.com

UConn School of Business - Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities is now accepting applications.  Click here for more info.

 

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