One Veteran’s Experience – Teaching in Florida Schools

The Florida Education Association (FEA) says more than 450,000 students may head back to school without a full-time teacher in place. 

FEA Vice President Carole Gauronskas says COVID is partially to blame for many teachers retiring early and students not pursuing the field.

“Ask the scientists, ask the doctors, and ask the educators what it is like to be in that classroom with poor ventilation with 26 children or more – many classes will have 30 or more students – and until we’re asked at that table with the legislators, I would say, you do your work, let us do our work. We went to school for four years plus, we know what we’re doing, let us do it.”

She says the other reason is simple: teachers aren’t paid enough or respected enough considering the time they put in.

“Overall, there are approximately 450,000 children who will not have a certified full-time teacher in their classrooms on the first day of school. So that roughly translates into almost 5,000 teaching positions that are open and more than 3,700 support staff positions.”

The State of Florida is now allowing qualified military veterans to obtain 5-year temporary teaching certificates to serve as substitute teachers without having completed a college degree. The move comes as Florida works to find solutions to a statewide teacher shortage.

A recent FEA survey found some 13.5 percent of English classes and 8.1 percent of math classes statewide are taught by teachers who are not certified in those subjects.

On August 18, 2022 – The Biden Administration’s U.S. Education Secretary, Miguel Cardona, praised Florida’s plan to encourage veterans to work in the classrooms. Cardona stated, “I don’t have the details of the Florida program specifically. I love anything that’s going to provide opportunities for those who are looking into the teaching profession, ensuring that they’re connected to good teacher preparation programs that teach pedagogy and ensuring that the educators have the skills needed to meet the needs of our students.”

A month later, Cardona expressed this view, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona criticized efforts by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) to allow veterans without college degrees to teach in Florida public schools, saying the initiative lowers standards for teachers.

“The moment we start lowering standards to get [into teaching], we’re doubling down on the disrespect to the profession,” Cardona said. “I’m all for veterans becoming teachers … but let’s let’s remember when the nation’s report card is showing that our students have dropped drastically to provide educators who are not qualified or trained in the pedagogy of teaching is a slap in the face to the profession.” Cardona sounds like the FDA – wear a mask, don’t wear a mask indoors, wear a mask in the restaurant – never mind let’s listen to doctors.

Discrimination – the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of ethnicity, age, sex, or disability:

Discrimination in the workplace – The discrimination in favor of or against an employee based on a group, category, or class to which the individual belongs, rather than on individual merit.

According to federal and state laws, it is illegal for an employer to treat a person unequally based on his or her race, gender, ethnicity, age, religion, or disability. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 mandates that no person employed by, or seeking employment with, a company that has 15 or more employees can be discriminated against based on any of these factors. While federal law prohibits discrimination in the workplace, most states have enacted their own laws regarding workplace discrimination.

Discrimination in the workplace covers any work related issues, and it is important for employers to take care that the company handbook, policies, and practices are uniform, regardless of employee race, gender, ethnicity, age, religion, or disability. Even a policy that applies to all employees, regardless of these factors may be illegal if it creates a negative impact on the employees. For example, if an employer has a hair style policy that applies to all employees, it may be unlawful if the policy is not job related, and impacts a certain race due to a predisposition of natural hair types.

A veteran posted his story to Facebook:

Discrimination of a disabled veteran, sexism and nepotism by the Palm Beach School District.

Brothers and sisters. I wanted to both inform you and reach out for help about a case of discrimination against me that is in many ways likely to impact our veteran community as they utilize Governor Desantises incentives to hire veterans as teachers.

On Tuesday 09/06 I was told I would be moved to a different school in my district due to low enrollment numbers. I am being replaced by a 24 year old teacher who was hired last year at the same time as me but as a reading teacher.

I have a masters degree in curriculum and instruction, a bachelor’s degree in political science, an honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, Two deployments, one to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. I broke my back on July 4th 2010 in country. I hold a 5 year professional renewable certification in the state of Florida.

The girl whose mother works at the school has two three year temporary non renewable teaching licenses. She does not have a masters degree, she has no military service yet my principal told me her credentials were more valuable than mine and that she would replace me. I was given no choice. No consideration was made for the fact I am a disabled veteran or that I have a service dog.

I am not looking for anyone’s pity. I don’t want money or financial assistance. I refuse to take this lying down. What was done to me is bound to happen at an accelerated rate as veterans begin to enter the Florida School system. I want you to know what is in store for us.

I would truly appreciate anyone who could get me an audience with our Governor or other state and federal representatives. If anyone has connections in the media, please send them to me. If you have any experience with discrimination lawsuits yourself, Please let me know how it went for you.

I am not looking for any cheap or free legal assistance. I want to know who the most ruthless discrimination lawyer is in our area. I am looking for that person specifically. Money is not an issue, they will see the major potential of my case. Thank you so much to all of you for taking the time to listen.

Dealing with Discrimination in the Workplace

If an employee is dealing with discrimination in the workplace, he should carefully document all instance of the discrimination or harassment. This may be done by writing down the date, time, and details of each discriminatory act, as well as by keeping copies of voicemails, emails, text messages, as well as any physical evidence, which prove the discrimination. Such documentation, as well as a list of other people who may have witnessed the acts, may be important to an investigation.

The employee should report workplace discrimination, in writing, to his employer right away, keeping a copy of the notice. This ensures that, even if the problem has to be reported to a higher authority, the employer cannot claim ignorance of the situation.

While the state in which the victim is employed may have an agency assigned to investigate discrimination in the workplace, the victim can always contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). The EEOC oversees compliance with anti-discrimination laws. Many state employment agencies are able to provide information to both employers and employees, and guide them in reporting workplace discrimination.

Source:

Prieur, D. (2021, August 11). Florida has a critical shortage of teachers. Here’s why. Hint: One of the reasons begins with the letters COVID-19. 90.7 WMFE. https://www.wmfe.org/florida-has-a-critical-shortage-of-teachers-heres-why-hint-one-of-the-reasons-begins-with-with-covid-19/187744

The White House. (2021, July 23). FACT SHEET: How the Biden-Harris administration is advancing educational equity. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/07/23/fact-sheet-how-the-biden-harris-administration-is-advancing-educational-equity/

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/education/cardona-florida-hire-veterans-teachers

When You Love Someone who has #PTSD

Some of us are good at wearing a mask – hiding our symptoms of PTSD. If someone close to you has experienced a traumatic event, it can be hard to know how to support them. The symptoms of PTSD can cause problems with trust, closeness, communication, and problem-solving—which may lead to troubled family relationships or friendships.

Here are several ways you can help your loved one, strengthen your relationship, and take care of yourself too.

FOR YOU

    Take care of your own health.

    Continue doing the things you enjoy and find relaxing.

    Recognize the effects of PTSD on relationships  

    Be realistic about how much you can do.

    Talk about what you’re going through with your own support network.

    Consider seeing a counselor or therapist.

FOR YOUR LOVED ONE

    Plan enjoyable activities with friends and family.

    Encourage them to get treatment.   

    Offer to go to the doctor with them. 

    Make a crisis plan – together.

    Check in with them often.

    Be a good listener.

Supporting someone with PTSD can take a lot of time and energy—and it can be stressful. It’s common to feel that taking care of yourself is selfish, or that you don’t have time. But taking care of yourself is actually an important part of caring for your loved one. If your needs are met, you’ll be a stronger source of support for them.

#USMC #tRump #loser #Veterans

Trump was supposed to go to an event at the cemetery during the trip, but rain and fog were blamed for him not being able to helicopter to the site. The White House then determined he could not motorcade to the location — 50 miles outside of Paris — because it would be too hard to try to secure the roads.

The former official, who declined to be named, largely confirmed reporting from Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic magazine, which cited sources who said Trump rejected the idea of a cemetery visit and proceeded to refer to the fallen soldiers as “losers” and “suckers.”

Self-Care

Ever feel like hurting yourself?

  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Self-Mutilation
  • Overspending
  • Isolation
  • Casual Sex
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Allowing toxic people in your life
  • Risky situations
  • Watching things that make you feel worse
  • Avoidance

Here are some steps to deliverance

1. Honesty

Be honest with yourself and with God if you expect to receive God’s blessing of deliverance. Any sin that is not confessed or repented of gives the evil spirits a “legal right” to stay.

2. Humility

You have to recognize that you are dependent upon God and His provisions and mercy for deliverance.

3. Repentance

Repentance is a determined turning away from all sin and works of the devil. You must hate all evil in your life and fall out of agreement with it. Deliverance is not to be used merely to gain relief from problems but in order to become more conformed into the likeness of Jesus through by submitting to God’s will. Repentance requires open confession of all sin.

4. Renunciation

Renunciation is the forsaking of all evil. Renunciation is action resulting from repentance. For example, if you repent of lust you should destroy or delete all of your pornography.

5. Forgiveness

God freely and readily forgives all who confess their sins and ask for forgiveness through Jesus Christ (1 John 1:9). He expects us to forgive all others who have done wrong to us in any way (Matt. 6:14-15). In my observation, demons won’t leave the person being prayed for if the person is reluctant to forgive others.

6. Prayer

Ask God to deliver you and set you free in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. The scriptures read “Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered” (Joel 2:32).

7. Warfare

Prayer and warfare are two separate and distinct activities. Prayer is toward God and warfare is toward the enemy. Identify the spirits, address them directly by name in a commanding voice, and in faith command them to go in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. Have a battle-like mindset with determination and assurance of victory. Remember Jesus gives us the power to tread on serpents and scorpions (Luke 10:19).

Here’s a lil music to help you get started – it helps me!

#Veterans Benefits by State

U.S. states offer Veterans a wide range of benefits. State representatives provided VA the most popular benefit for Veterans, part of a five-part series. Below is a list of the benefits in alphabetical order by state.

For VA benefits, people can download and print the VA Welcome Kit at https://www.va.gov/welcome-kit. People can provide general feedback and suggestions on ways VA can improve the Welcome Kit via email at vawelcomekit@va.gov.  A YouTube video on the welcome kit is at https://youtu.be/DZvITWcWutE.

Alabama

“Alabama’s beautiful State Veterans Homes are our most popular Veteran benefit because we provide more than just skilled care to our heroes, we provide a home filled with love, honor, and compassion. With amazing support from our communities, we are able to provide activities and outings which keep our residents active and engaged and improve their quality of life. We currently have four State Veterans Homes all with waiting lists and are planning the construction of our fifth State Veterans Home.” – Kim Justice, executive director, State Veterans Homes.

Veterans can learn more about the program at https://va.alabama.gov/vets-home-program/.

Alaska

“The most popular state benefit is the Alaska Property Tax Exemption. This exemption provides a tax break on the first $150,000 of assessed value of the home for Veterans with a 50% or greater disability rating either by the military or the VA.” – Verdie Bowen Sr., director, Office of Veterans Affairs

Veterans can learn more about this program at (URL)  http://veterans.alaska.gov/RealEstate

Arizona

“One of Arizona’s most popular state benefits are special license plates that recognize and honor military Veterans. Most popular are the Veteran, Women Veteran, and Freedom Special Plates. Each plate requires a $25.00 initial application fee and $25.00 renewal fee. Of the $25.00 fee, $17.00 is deposited into the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services Veteran Donation Fund. Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes § 41-608, the Veteran Donation Fund is used to provide grants to nonprofit organizations for the benefit of Veterans in Arizona.” – Wanda Wright, director

Veterans can learn more about Special License Plates at https://azdot.gov/motor-vehicles/vehicle-services/plates-and-placards/plate-selections-gallery and the Veteran Donation Fund at https://dvs.az.gov/donation-fund.

Arkansas

“One of Arkansas’ newest benefits for Veterans is the state tax exemption on military retirement pay.” – Gina Chandler, assistant director, Veterans Services

More information about that benefit is at http://www.veterans.arkansas.gov/benefits/state-benefits.

California

“California’s most popular benefit is our home loan program. Using Qualified Veterans Mortgage Bonds, California provides flexible financing for Veterans purchasing homes in the state of California. The servicing of the loans remains with the department for the life of the loan, and this popular benefit includes exceptional fire, hazard, earthquake, and flood insurance.” – Theresa Gunn, deputy secretary, CalVet Home Loans

California Veterans can learn more about this program at https://www.calvet.ca.gov/calvet-programs/home-loans.

Colorado

“The tax exemption on homes is the most popular but limited to 100% permanent and totally disabled Veterans. Given that, the most popular benefit that most Veterans can receive is Disabled Veteran license plates. The DV plates, which waive license tax on one vehicle, pertains to Veterans at 50% or more service connected and permanent and totally disabled Veterans.” – Richard J. Tremaine, director, Division of Veterans Affairs

Veterans can learn more at www.Colorado.Gov/Vets.

Connecticut

“Connecticut’s most popular state benefit is the Veteran designation with American Flag on the State Driver’s License and on non-license ID Cards, which is used by community based organizations, agencies and retailers to verify Veteran status for various local and state programs, services and discounts. To receive Veteran’s flag on an existing Connecticut license or identity card, the Veteran must submit documentation (DD-214 or pre 1950 WG AGO Discharge certificate) of qualifying active federal service, not including initial entry training; or Entitled to retirement pay under 10 USC Chapter 1223, as amended from time to time, or, but for age, would be entitled. The characterization of Honorable Discharge, General under Honorable Conditions, or Other Than Honorable (OTH) if deemed eligible is pursuant to Connecticut’s OTH benefits law.” – Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Thomas J. Saadi

Veterans can learn more about this benefit at https://portal.ct.gov/DVA/Pages/Apply-for-Veterans-Flag-on-CT-Driver-License-or-ID-Card.

Delaware

“The most popular state benefit are the various Veterans license plates.” – Larence Kirby, executive director, Office of Veterans Services

Special license plates are available through the Department of Motor Vehicles for: Former Prisoners Of War, Formerly Missing-In-Action, Purple Heart Recipients, Medals of Valor Recipients, Disabled Veterans, Delaware National Guard & Reserve Members, Retired Military, Korean War Veterans, Vietnam War Veterans, Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), and Gold Star Lapel Button.

To learn more about Delaware’s services for Veterans, visit https://vets.delaware.gov/.

Florida

“Eligible resident Veterans with a VA certified service-connected disability of 10% or greater shall be entitled to a $5,000 deduction on the assessment of their home for tax exemption purposes. Real estate owned and used as a homestead by an honorably discharged Veteran with a service-connected, permanent and total disability is exempt from taxation. Any partially disabled Veteran who is age 65 or older, any portion of whose disability was combat-related, and who was honorably discharged, may be eligible for a discount from the amount of ad valorem tax on the homestead commensurate with the percentage of the Veteran’s permanent service-connected disability. A growing economy, mild winters and the lack of a state income tax attract many Veterans and their families to Florida. To keep them here, we offer unique benefits such as in-state tuition rates for Veterans and their families using the Post-9/11 GI Bill, several layers of property tax exemptions, expanded Veterans’ preference, and extensive benefits, licensure and fee waivers for many activities and occupations.” – James S. “Hammer” Hartsell, deputy executive director, Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Veterans can learn more by visiting www.FloridaVets.org.

Georgia

“One of the most popular state benefits in Georgia is free license plates for Veterans. License plates are available in a special Veteran themed design, with options available to highlight a Veteran’s branch of service, their era of service, or a special military decoration they received during their service. License plates are also available for disabled Veterans at no charge.” – Mike Roby, Georgia’s commissioner of Veterans Service

Veterans can learn more about the program at https://veterans.georgia.gov/license-plates.

“Another popular state benefits in Georgia is a free driver’s license for Veterans or an honorary license for their spouse. The license features an American flag and a Veteran designation in the corner. The license is free for Veterans who meet a residency and service requirement but is available for a small fee for Veterans who do not meet the qualifications. License plates are also available for disabled Veterans at no charge.” – Mike Roby, Georgia’s commissioner of Veterans Service

Veterans can learn more about the program at https://veterans.georgia.gov/driving-licenses-and-personal-id-cards.

Hawaii

“Hawaii’s Most popular state benefit is the Totally Disabled Veterans Real Property Tax Exemption. Each island has their own tax exemption benefit in place.” – Ronald Han, Director State Office of Veterans’ Services

Veterans can learn more about the exemption at http://dod.hawaii.gov/ovs/benefits-and-services/.

Idaho

“The most popular benefit are the reduced hunting & fishing license and tag fees available. Idaho provides resident disabled Veterans with a service-connected disability rating of 40% or greater $5.75 combination hunting and fishing licenses and reduced tag fees. Nonresident disabled Veterans can obtain hunting licenses for $31.75 and reduced tag fees. This provides significant cost savings for Veteran hunters and fishers.” – Kevin Wallior, Idaho Division of Veterans Services management assistant

Veterans can learn more about the program at https://idfg.idaho.gov/licenses/dav-programs.

Illinois

“Illinois’ newest benefit is the Veteran designation for Illinois state driver’s licenses. This has quickly become our most popular benefit in terms of the number of Veterans who have obtained it. Our most popular monetary benefit is the Illinois Veterans Grant/Illinois National Guard Grant.” – Linda Chapa LaVia, director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Illinois Veterans and their families can learn more about these programs at https://www2.illinois.gov/veterans/Pages/default.aspx.

Indiana

“Indiana has tuition and fee exemption for children of disabled Veterans, children of Purple Heart recipients, and children of POWs. Remission of tuition and fees for children of disabled Veterans (at least 0% service-connected) who served during a period of war or participated in equally hazardous duty, or the children of Purple Heart recipients, or the children of prisoners of war. This may be used at approved state-sponsored universities for up to 124 credits. – Joseph J. DeVito, outreach director, Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs

Indiana Veterans can learn more about all of the benefits offered at www.in.gov/dva.

Iowa

“Our Homeownership Assistance Program that provides $5,000 for first time Veteran homebuyers, our Veterans License Plates – which contributes to our License Plate Fund, and our Lifetime Hunting and Fishing License programs are all among our most popular programs.” – Karl J. Lettow, public information

Details on these are at https://va.iowa.gov/benefits.

Kansas

“Kansas offers a wide variety of hunting and fishing opportunities because of an abundance of wildlife and numerous water resources.” – Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs Director Gregg Burden

Veterans in Kansas may be eligible for hunting and fishing fee discounts and should visit Kansas Wildlife and Parks at www.ksoutdoors.com for more information.

Kentucky

“Kentucky waives tuition at all state colleges and universities for dependents of certain Veterans, including those who died on active duty, died as a direct result of a service-connected disability, and those who are 100 percent service-connected disabled or receiving a non-service connected pension. This benefit is so popular that people move to Kentucky specifically to take advantage of this benefit.” – Sophi Thompson, Tuition Waiver Program coordinator

Kentucky Veterans can find out more about this benefit here.

Louisiana

“Our most popular benefit is our structure in that Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs has a close working relationship with all 64 of our parishes. We have 74 parish service offices across the state that are accessible to all of our Veterans and their families. Our offices are staffed by highly-trained, federally-accredited Veterans assistance counselors that are employees of the State of Louisiana. As a result of our unique structure, we are able to provide the best opportunity to take advantage of the plethora of available benefits.” – Joey Strickland, Secretary, Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs

For more information on the parish service offices, visit www.vetaffairs.la.gov/benefits.

Maine

“Maine’s most popular benefit that our Veterans take advantage of is the Maine Resident Lifetime Veteran State Park and Museum Pass. Any Veteran who resides in the State of Maine, that received an honorable discharge from military service is eligible to receive a pass. The pass gives the Veteran free admission to State Parks across the state as well as the Maine State Museum.” – David Richmond, director, Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services

For more information, visit https://www.maine.gov/veterans/benefits/recreational-licenses/lifetime-park-pass.html.

Maryland

“Maryland provides a number of state benefits to Veterans and their dependents. Based on inquiries received by the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, the most popular state benefit is the property tax exemption for Veterans who are rated at 100% disabled. The property tax exemption allows this unique population of Veterans to be fully exempt from property taxes on their primary dwelling.” – George Owings, secretary of the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

Veterans can learn more about the exemption and how to apply at https://veterans.maryland.gov/maryland-tax-benefits/.

Massachusetts

For Massachusetts information, visit https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-department-of-veterans-services.

Michigan

“Our most popular state benefit for emergent needs is the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund (MVTF). The MVTF provides emergency grants to help combat-era Veterans and their families weather unforeseen, temporary financial emergencies. Emergency grants cover expenses such as utility bills, home repairs, transportation and mortgage assistance.” – Lindell Holm, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency/MVTF executive secretary

For more information and to apply, visit https://www.michiganveterans.com/mvaaEmergencyAssistanceForm or call 1-800-MICH-VET.

Minnesota

“Our most popular service is the VA Claims representation provided by our staff and our largest program financially is the State Soldiers Assistance Program.” – Larry Herke, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs

To learn more, visit https://mn.gov/mdva/resources/healthdisability/claims.jsp.

Mississippi

“Mississippi’s most popular state benefit for totally disabled Veterans is the homestead exemption. If a Veteran has been honorably discharged with total disability, he or she is exempt from all Ad Valorem taxes on the assessed value of homestead property. Another popular benefit is free access to all State Parks and Recreational Facilities. All Veterans are eligible for this perk.” – Stacey Pickering, executive director of Mississippi Veterans Affairs

For more information on Mississippi Veterans Affairs, visit www.msva.ms.gov.

Missouri

“The Missouri State Veterans Services Program has 44 accredited service officers offering assistance to Veterans, widow/widower of a Veteran, Veterans child or a parent who has lost a son or daughter in military service. Service officers provide counseling and assistance when you have questions about compensation, pensions, education benefits, life insurance, medical benefits, state benefits and burial benefits. They are networked within the supported communities.  If federal and state benefits are not enough, our VSO’s know local community agencies who might provide assistance.” – Ryon Richmond, acting executive director, Missouri Veterans Commission

Veterans can learn more about the program at https://mvc.dps.mo.gov/service/.

Montana

“Montana’s most popular state benefit is the Veteran Designation on the drivers’ licenses.  An MOU between Montana Veteran’s Affairs Division and the Department of Motor Vehicles allows us to verify Veteran status in order to have the Veteran designation on their drivers’ licenses for a fee of $10.” – Kelly Ackerman, administrator, Montana Veterans Affairs Division

For more information, visit doj.mt.gov/driving/license-plates.

Nebraska

“The Nebraska Veterans Registry is the most popular benefit based on the fact that out of the 125,000 Veterans in Nebraska 85,000 plus are registered with the State of Nebraska. This allows for easy application for benefits provided such as military license plates and special discounts sometimes offered at establishments throughout the state. This also eases outreach to Veterans by the Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs.” – John Hilgert, Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs director

Veterans can apply to the registry at https://www.nebraska.gov/va_registry/index.cgi.

Nevada

“Nevada’s most popular state benefit is a state income tax exemption for all! Because Nevada does not have a state income tax, all residents including Veterans are exempt.” – Julie Dudley, communications director

Veterans can learn more about the State of Nevada at http://nv.gov/ and the Nevada Department of Veterans Services at https://veterans.nv.gov/.

New Hampshire

“In my opinion, New Hampshire’s most popular state Veteran benefit is most likely it’s property tax credits. Depending on what city or town you live in, New Hampshire offers qualified Veterans a tax credit for up to $750 annually and if you are a 100% permanently and totally disabled Veteran (as determined by the Veterans Benefit Administration), you will be eligible for up to $4,000 in property tax relief.” – William Gaudreau, director, NH Division of Veteran Services

Veterans can learn more about benefits at www.nh.gov/nhveterans.

New Jersey

“Veterans are eligible for a $6,000 exemption on your income tax return if you are a military Veteran who was honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States on or any time before the last day of the tax year. Your spouse (or civil union partner) is also eligible for an exemption if he/she is a Veteran who was honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances and you are filing a joint return. This exemption is in addition to any other exemptions you are entitled to claim and is available on both the resident and nonresident returns.” – Patricia A. Richter, acting director, Division of Veterans Services

More information is at http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/military/vetexemption.shtml

New Mexico

The most popular state benefit available to New Mexico’s 154,000 Veterans, according to the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services, is the Veterans State Property Tax Exemption.

This is an exemption of up to a $4,000 reduction in the taxable value of a Veteran’s primary residence for county property taxation purposes. This benefit is also available to non-remarried surviving spouses of Veterans who would have otherwise qualified for this benefit. Any Veteran who has been rated 100% service-connected disabled (permanent & total) by VA and is a legal resident of New Mexico qualifies for a complete property tax waiver for their primary residence.

According to DVS, in 2019 the agency processed 6,480 exemption and waiver applications. Veterans can learn more about the program at http://www.nmdvs.org/state-benefits/.

New York

“New York’s most popular state benefit is the FreshConnect Checks program. This program in collaboration with Agriculture and Markets, allows Veterans and their families to access $20 in fresh food vouchers to be used at farmers markets across New York.” – Joel Evans, executive deputy director, New York State Division of Veterans’ Services

New York Veterans can learn more about the program at https://agriculture.ny.gov/consumer-benefits-farmers-markets#freshconnect-benefits-for-veterans-and-servicemembers.

North Carolina

“The most popular North Carolina state benefit is Veteran license plates and the tax exclusion for 100% disabled Veterans.” – Martin Falls, chief deputy secretary for the North Carolina Department of Military and Veteran Affairs

Veterans can learn more about the North Carolina Veteran programs at www.milvets.nc.gov.

North Dakota

“Our most popular state benefit is the grant program at North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs.” – Lonnie Wangen, commissioner

The state offers a Hardship Assistance Grant and a grant for North Dakota Veterans with PTSD. Veterans can learn more at http://www.nd.gov/veterans/benefits/hardship-assistance-grant.

Ohio

“Every county in Ohio has a Veterans Service Commission, who employ Veterans service officers to assist Ohio Veterans with benefits, transportation, and even financial assistance- all at no charge to Veterans.” – Sean McCarthy, assistant director, Department of Veterans Services

A comprehensive Ohio Veterans Resource Guide is available online at https://dvs.ohio.gov/wps/wcm/connect/gov/7c2ff73e-7a10-42a9-b2c1-4688be28837c/BenefitsGuide.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CVID=n8kF7Cb.

Oklahoma

For Oklahoma information, visit https://odva.ok.gov/.

Oregon

“Veteran Recognition License Plates are very popular in Oregon for Veterans, disabled Veterans, and their families. This program includes multiple recognition plate options that allow Veterans to display pride in their military service, all while helping to support work for fellow Veterans and their families through organizations such as the Oregon Veterans’ Homes and Gold Star Families, both of which receive a portion of the registration fees charged for some plates.” – Ana Potter, Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs Aging Veterans Services director

Oregon Veterans and their families can learn more about the program at https://www.oregon.gov/odot/dmv/pages/vehicle/plates.aspx#Veteran.

Pennsylvania

“Pennsylvania’s most popular state benefit is by far the Real Estate Tax Exemption. This program, administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, provides real estate tax exemption for any honorably discharged Veteran who is 100 percent disabled, a resident of the commonwealth and has a financial need. More than 14,000 Pennsylvania Veterans are enrolled in the program, which grows by about 1,000 Veterans each year.” – Joel H. Mutschler, director of the Bureau of Veterans Programs, Initiatives, Reintegration, and Outreach

Pennsylvania Veterans can learn more about the Real Estate Tax Exemption program at dmva.pa.gov.

Rhode Island

“The most popular state benefit is Rhode Island National Guard members receive free tuition.” – Kasim Yarn, director, Rhode Island Office of Veterans Services

Veterans can learn more at http://www.vets.ri.gov/.

South Carolina

“All persons who have been declared permanently and totally disabled by the Social Security Administration, VA, or other state or federal agencies, are eligible for a homestead exemption in an amount set by the General Assembly. This also applies to persons over age 65.” – Brandon C. Wilson, public information director

For more information, contact your county and municipal tax offices or visit http://va.sc.gov/benefits.html.

South Dakota

South Dakota’s most popular state benefit is the bonus program. The state of South Dakota awards a bonus to active duty military members and Veterans who meet service qualifications.

“Regardless of service era, we take an all-inclusive approach to ensure all Veterans have access to their benefits,” said Greg Whitlock, Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs.

Whitlock encourages Veterans to contact their local county or tribal Veterans service officers or the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs office (605-773-3269) to learn more about their benefits. Veterans can also visit https://vetaffairs.sd.gov/ or https://www.facebook.com/SDDVA/.

Tennessee

“Tennessee’s most popular Veteran benefit is the property tax relief for certain 100% disabled Veterans and their surviving spouses for up to $175,000 of the property’s assessed value. Determination of eligibility for a homeowner who is a disabled Veteran or widow(er) of a disabled Veteran will be made based on information provided by the VA through use of consent forms.” – Ron Dvorsky, Tennessee Department of Veterans Services resource coordinator training officer

Veterans can learn more about the program at https://comptroller.tn.gov/office-functions/pa/property-taxes/property-tax-programs/tax-relief.html.

Texas

“From September 2019 through April 30, 2020, the Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) Claims Department has assisted over 7,000 Veterans in receiving over $250 million in retroactive payments plus annual increases. I’d say that shows the TVC claims program is very popular.” – Thomas P. Palladino, executive director of the Texas Veterans Commission

Veterans can learn more at https://www.tvc.texas.gov/claims/.

Utah

“Utah’s Veterans Property Tax Abatement is widely used designed to reduce certain property taxes Veterans owe on normally taxed property, to include homes, automobiles and recreational vehicles. The tax reduction is based on the level of a disability rating as determined by VA.” – Gary Harter, executive director of Utah’s Department of Veterans and Military Affairs

Additional information is at https://veterans.utah.gov/utah-tax-abatement-exemption/.

Vermont

“Vermont’s most popular benefit is a property tax reduction program for Veterans with a VA rating of 50% or greater.” – Robert E. Burke, director, Office of Veterans Affairs

For more information visit veterans.vermont.gov.

Virginia

“Virginia’s VA claims assistance program. This program has over 100 full time staff dedicated to assisting transitioning service members and Veterans prepare, and when necessary, appeal their VA disability compensation and pension claims.” – Thomas Herthel, deputy commissioner for the Virginia Department of Veterans Services

In 2019, VDVS staff helped over 200,000 Veterans submit over 70,000 claims and appeals.  Additionally, VDVS has a dedicated team of appeals attorneys and specialists who assist Veterans before the Board of Veterans Appeals and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and advocate on their behalf. In all, Virginia’s Veterans received over $3.5 billion in federal disability claims benefits in Federal Fiscal Year 2019.

Veterans can learn more at https://www.dvs.virginia.gov/benefits.

Washington

“Washington offers free license plates for disabled Veterans, Purple Heart and Gold Star, as well as free camping for Veterans with 30% or greater disability.” – Liza Narciso, assistant to the director, Washington Department of Veterans Affairs

For more information, visit https://www.dva.wa.gov/.

West Virginia

“West Virginia provides funds each year to pay for education and training opportunities that do not qualify under VA guidelines. This gives our Veterans a second opportunity for success.” – Cabinet Secretary Dennis Davis

Veterans can learn more at https://veterans.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx.

Wisconsin

“WDVA’s online tool, MyWisVets.com, makes it easy for Wisconsinites to check their eligibility benefits, upload supporting documents, apply for grants, pre-register at our Veterans homes or for an internment, and more. MyWisVets.com is supported by WDVA’s Veterans Benefits Resource staff, who are also available by phone, email, or via our Live Chat feature on the WDVA website to support Veterans with state and federal benefits questions.” – Donald Placidi Jr., Division of Veterans Benefits administrator, Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs

Veterans can visit the online portal at www.MyWisVets.com.

Wyoming

“The most popular state benefit is the property tax exemption. This benefit is used in all 23 counties.” – Tim Sheppard, executive director, Wyoming Veterans Commission

Veterans can learn more at https://www.wyomilitary.wyo.gov/veterans/commission/.

#Yoga Virtually

What is yoga – Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. Yoga is one of the six Āstika (orthodox) schools of Hindu philosophical traditions.

There is a broad variety of yoga schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The term “Yoga” in the Western world often denotes a modern form of hatha yoga and yoga as exercise, consisting largely of the postures or asanas

Goal of Yoga – The Goal of Yoga. The main goal of Yoga is to clean the mind and calm the mind. “Yogaha Chitta Vritti Nirodaha,” Raja Yoga says.  When done regularly, the physical practice of yoga can help reduce stress and boost concentration, overall health and a sense of well-being.  Yoga encourages one to go deeper into their being and find the inner place that is beyond temporary anchors.

Breathing –  Breathing is obviously an important part of every day, whether you’re doing yoga or not. Though we don’t typically focus on our breath during the day, in a yoga class, breathing is just as important as the poses and serves a greater purpose. Each inhale and exhale can energize, calm, and help you form a deeper mind-body connection.

Pranayama, which literally means “to extend the vital life force,” or prana, is an incredibly rich practice made up of many breathing techniques that vary in complexity from ones simple enough for a child to do to those appropriate only for advanced practitioners. While the best way to practice pranayama is under the guidance of an experienced teacher, there are simple techniques—such as gentle diaphragmatic breathing and comfortably lengthening the exhalation—that can be used at any time to transform not only your breath but also your state of mind.

Benefits of Yoga – As for the benefits of yoga, there is evidence that practicing yoga can help you increase your flexibility, strength, and stamina. Hatha is the type usually studied, but there’s no reason to believe that you won’t gain these benefits from other types as well.  For women – Several studies have proved that the lifespan of women doing yoga is more when compared to non-practitioners. Yoga can be classified as the body and mind cleanser. It cleanses the body and allows us to lead a happy life. Practicing several yoga poses before, during and after pregnancy helps to keep the mother and child strong. Mainly, yoga practice before and during the pregnancy helps women to have painless labor. For PTSD survivors – A growing body of research suggests yoga does provide mental health benefits, from alleviating depression to PTSD. Yoga has been studied as an effective treatment for some types of depression. A series of studies from the Netherlands found yoga provided some benefit for people with chronic depression.

Why I Dislike Yoga – First let me say I do find some relief with the breathing exercises nonetheless I’m not a big fan of slow methodical movements.  Perhaps because when I think of movement I expect to feel an immediate change in my physical awareness much like working out – we seat, we feel “in-shape” we/I feel like I have done something that will produce changes if I keep at it. Perfoming Yoga virtually has little or no benefit for me at all. Yet with Yoga, I feel like I’m slowly walking a beach with little or no effect physically.  I guess that and in of itself is the positive side of Yoga.  Yet I still dislike it…

What are your thoughts?

 

 

#VeteransDay – The Other Side

The side we don’t want to look at on Veterans Day…

Homes For The Brave Helping #Homeless #Veterans

Click Here For Registration

#Veteran Friendly

Veteran Friendly and Non-Friendly Establishments

                                 As a former Marine I’m taking the opportunity to let folk know if an establishment is Veteran friendly or not.  If you know of a business this is Veteran friendly or is not let me know and I will add it to my list (currently in review) for distribution.

For Example

Veteran Friendly – For example Howard K. Hill Funeral Services provides  Veterans Services

Non-Friendly Veteran The Residences on Bedford does not accept applications from women Veterans that have been homeless.

 

 

 

#MentalHealth and #Alcohol

Jake has been an ambassador for change at VA

President Trump selects Jake Leinenkugel to lead VA commission focused on Veterans’ mental health treatment

[Well that nice but did you know – In cases where a person has a genetic predisposition to alcohol, underlying emotional or psychological issues can easily become a driving force behind excess alcohol consumption. While drinkers may not start out with a full-blown psychological disorder, alcohol’s effects on the brain can cause psychological dysfunction to develop. Unfortunately, mental illness caused by alcohol abuse is a common occurrence. According to the Medical University of South Carolina, nearly 40 percent of alcoholics suffer from one or more psychological disorders.]

Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that President Donald J. Trump has selected former VA White House Senior Advisor Thomas “Jake” Leinenkugel to lead a key commission focused on the department’s mental health care programs.

“Jake is a veteran; two of his children are veterans. He certainly knows first hand the challenges and opportunities men and women who leave the military face,” Dick Leinenkugel said Monday. “This will allow him to impact the policies that will impact veterans.”

“Jake has been an ambassador for change at VA, working to implement President Trump’s policies throughout the department over the past year and a half,” said Acting VA Secretary Peter O’Rourke. “As leader of this important new commission, Jake will continue to advocate for better care and services for his fellow Veterans.”

At VA, Leinenkugel has been instrumental in the creation of the department’s “ChooseVA” branding campaign and the implementation of November’s National Veterans and Military Families Month. He has also worked to promote VA’s efforts to reduce Veteran suicides.

Lastly – Leinenkugel’s #brewery in Chippewa Falls was built over natural springs in 1867 but now uses about 70 million gallons of water a year from the city. In the past eight years, the brewery has spent more than $12 million on improvements that, said Jake Leinenkugel, the brewery’s president. The company is also donating $500,000 to help preserve wetlands in Chippewa County.

That’s right the man overseeing the Mental Health of #Veterans owns a brewery!

#History 1st #Marine Wins #Medal of #Honor

On this day in 1965 Viet Cong ambushed Company A of the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, led by U.S.M.C. Lt. Frank Reasoner of Kellogg, Idaho. The Marines had been on a sweep of a suspected Viet Cong area to deter any enemy activity aimed at the nearby airbase at Da Nang.

Reasoner and the five-man point team he was accompanying were cut off from the main body of the company. He ordered his men to lay down a base of fire and then, repeatedly exposing himself to enemy fire, killed two Viet Cong, single-handedly wiped out an enemy machine gun emplacement, and raced through enemy fire to rescue his injured radio operator. Trying to rally his men, Reasoner was hit by enemy machine gun fire and was killed instantly. For this action, Reasoner was nominated for America’s highest award for valor. When Navy Secretary Paul H. Nitze presented the Medal of Honor to Reasoner’s widow and son in ceremonies at the Pentagon on January 31, 1967, he spoke of Reasoner’s willingness to die for his men: “Lieutenant Reasoner’s complete disregard for his own welfare will long serve as an inspiring example to others.” Lieutenant Reasoner was the first Marine to receive the Medal of Honor for action in Vietnam.

#FloridaShooting I’d Run #POTUS

Will Substitutes required to carry a weapon, if we can’t control the women and men who are having relationships with children how will we manage the emotions of adults with weapons in certain school districts?

Words spoken by your President – Donald Trump

“You don’t know until you test it, but I think, I really believe I would have run in there even if I didn’t have weapon.” stated Trump.  The same one who thinks:

1. “We’re not bombing. We’re not doing much. We have a president that thinks ISIS has been contained. We have a president that doesn’t know what’s happening. So when you say we’re bombing, we’re not bombing.”

2. The Generals have been reduced to rubble…They have been reduced to a point where it’s embarrassing to our country…

3. “The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families.”

4. “Torture works. Ok, folks?” You know, I have these guys – ‘Torture doesn’t work!’ – believe me, it works. And waterboarding is your minor form. Some people say it’s not actually torture. Let’s assume it is. But they asked me the question, ‘What do you think of waterboarding?’ Absolutely fine. But we should go much stronger than waterboarding.

5. “It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.” (regarding Vladimir Putin

6. “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

7.  “…My primary consultant is myself, and I have a good instinct for this stuff”

8.  “These people are cowards. They’re not going to walk into a school if 20% of the teachers have guns — it may be 10% or may be 40%. And what I’d recommend doing is the people that do carry, we give them a bonus. We give them a little bit of a bonus,” Trump said. “They’ll frankly feel more comfortable having the gun anyway. But you give them a little bit of a bonus.”

9. “I’m very pro-choice,” Trump says. “I hate the concept of abortion. I hate it. I hate everything it stands for. I cringe when I listen to people debating the subject. But you still — I just believe in choice.” Later in an interview with Tapper –

TAPPER: Let me ask you about a few social issues because they haven’t been issues you have been talking about for several years. I know you’re opposed to abortion.

TRUMP: Right. I’m pro-choice.

TAPPER: You’re pro-choice or pro-life?

TRUMP: I’m pro-life. I’m sorry.

What am I #Concerned about:  I must  ask myself what would I do, I ponder what would have President Obama done.  Who are “these” people he is referring to, did you know more than one-third of the shootings—34 percent—involved a shooter who was prohibited from possessing firearms?

If teachers get bonuses for carrying a weapon what will substitutes get considering a teacher‘s salary average about 3 times as much?  Will Substitutes be required to carry a weapon, if we can’t control the women and men who are having relationships with children how will we manage the emotions of adults with weapons in certain school districts?

10. “Two Corinthians, 3:17, that’s the whole ballgame,” Trump said. (The relevant verse: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”)

I do not believe the Spirit of the Lord resides (with Trump at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC) however I do believe that God is not foolish and would not leave us nor forsake us.  I remember another instance where all went awry for a man named Job and He stood on what he knew to be true, regardless of what his friends and family thought.  Job was victorious and I am 1000% sure we can and will be victorious through these difficult times as well.

Source:  Thirdway.com By Sanaa Khan
Source:  CNN
Source:  The Federalist
Source:  The Washington Post
Source:  Teacher Portal
Source Everytown Analysis

 

 

#Veterans – Female Soldiers Forgotten Heroes

Since opening their doors in 2002,  Homes for the Brave has provided housing, vocational training, and life skills coaching to help individuals leave homelessness behind. To date, they have worked with more than 1,100 men and women, most of whom are Veterans.

fsfh

Would you consider donating to help FSFH achieve their mission – your donations are key to the success of each homeless Veteran.  Female Soldiers:Forgotten Heroes (FS:FH) is a transitional housing program for homeless Veterans and their young children.  Some of of the goals of FS:FH are to: Empower homeless female Veterans, help them obtain employment, acquire permanent housing, and give back to their community.

 

Click here to view the website.

 

New Online Tool Will Provide #Veterans With Customized Instructions for #Discharge Upgrade Process

WASHINGTON — The Department of Defense (DOD), through a joint initiative with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), has launched a new web-based tool that will provide customized guidance to Veterans who desire to upgrade or change the conditions of their military discharge.

By answering a few short questions, Veterans will receive information on the specific armed services board to contact, the form/s to fill out, special guidance applicable to their case, where to send their application and helpful tips for appealing their discharge.

“This new tool and partnership with DOD is one of many VA initiatives offered to Veterans who believe they may have been unfairly discharged or received an unfair discharge characterization,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “Veterans who believe their discharge was unjust, erroneous or warrants an upgrade are encouraged to use the tool and then apply for review.”

DOD officials also praised the new innovative tool. dd214

“We are thrilled to have partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs in developing this wonderful and easily accessible tool,” said Mr. Robert Wilkie, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. “We support our Veterans, whether they served recently or long ago, and we are excited to introduce a tool that will individualize the guidance for those who desire an upgrade or change in their military discharge.”

The military has estimated that tens of thousands of Veterans with less than honorable discharges are especially likely to have unjust discharges deserving of upgrades. These are Veterans who were discharged due to incidents relating to post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury or sexual orientation. Fragmented and confusing information has historically deterred Veterans from obtaining crucial information and — in many cases — necessary benefits.

The discharge upgrade tool is available at  here .

Homes For The Brave – Veterans

Help a #Veterans get to the dinner table; to the mall; to the dentist; to a doctor appointment; to therapy; or to the front door of an apartment or home.

Have you ever been so tired you couldn’t pray?

Have you ever been so cold a little  heat didn’t help?

Have you ever lost all that you owned?

Has your pride ever got in the way of healing?

Have you ever looked for healing for your emotional pain in a bottle?

Have you ever looked for your physical pain in a wax paper bag?

Did you hide from your family by golfing?

Did you disappear at the dinner table by being on your phone?

Do you have extra work to do every weekend you’re supposed to pick up your children from your ex’s house?

Do you forget to send the child support payment every time she pulls up  with her new beau?

We’ve all had a moment where life’s issues became so overwhelming that we took the shortcut route to “a” solution – well there are some folk who found themselves on the streets after they had given all they had after serving their time in the #ArmedForces.

Help a #Veterans get to the dinner table; to the mall; to the dentist; to a doctor appointment; to therapy; or to the front door of an apartment or home.

Visit Homes For The Brave  and make a small donation by purchasing an item or 2 or 3.

Female Soldiers Forgotten Heroes

Happy Holidays!!

Military Disability Ratings Help

When a service member develops a medical condition that may make him/her Unfit for Duty, he/she begins the DoD Process.

Please feel free to follow the links below for assistance in your disability rating.

Search your condition here

The DoD Disability Process – When a service member develops a medical condition that may make him/her Unfit for Duty, he/she begins the DoD Process. Think Big Veterans Disability

VASRD –  The Veteran Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities is a federal regulation that lists detailed requirements for assigning Military Disability Ratings to conditions for Military Disability

Is Your Rating Wrong – If you have carefully reviewed the site and feel that your case was not determined correctly during the DoD Disability Process or the VA Disability Process, or you think you deserve a higher Military Disability Rating, here’s what to do.

Search your condition here

Thank you for your service,
Always Faithful USMC – Semper Fi
I am a Former US Marine

#Veterans Have 24/7/365 Hotline

hotline

WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that the White House VA Hotline, first launched in June as part of President Donald J. Trump’s commitment to reforming VA, is now fully staffed with live agents working to serve Veterans 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.

The hotline, which became 24-hour operational in mid-October, is now staffed by a team consisting of 90 percent Veterans or employees who have a Veteran family member, and is in response to Veterans’ requests to talk to agents who could relate to their experiences.

“The White House VA Hotline provides our nation’s Veterans with a direct, dedicated contact line that allows them to interact with highly trained, live agents to answer their needs and concerns,” said VA Secretary David J. Shulkin.

“Since the initial launch of the hotline in June, we listened to our Veterans, who indicated that they prefer speaking with other Veterans and Veteran family members, and we adjusted our hiring based on that feedback,” added Shulkin.

“We’re proud that the hotline is now staffed 24/7 by a team of mostly Veterans or Veteran family members who have direct knowledge of their particular concerns and can use their experience to address them in the best way possible with the resources of the VA.  This represents a true win-win for Veterans and their loved ones.”

Since 24/7 coverage began in October, the hotline has served more than 10,000 callers.

Hotline agents answer inquiries, provide directory assistance, document concerns about VA care, benefits and services, and expedite the referral and resolution of those concerns. Agents undergo regular updates and training on VA services based on hotline trends and are assisted by newly implemented tracking software to help VA capture and improve its response, referral and resolution processes to best support Veterans.

The hotline can be accessed at 855-948-2311 and is VA’s first non-clinical, non-emergency around-the-clock call center. It provides Veterans a supplemental option to report issues if they are not being addressed through VA’s normal customer service channels.

The hotline’s agents are located at a VA facility in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Agents have access to a multitude of resources and contact information to help Veterans. The hotline also generates real-time reports to VA experts who can help address the specific issues of Veterans as well as make better-informed decisions on where program improvements are needed

#SemperFi – #GIBill

Statement by VA Secretary David J. Shulkin –  Passage of the Forever GI Bill

Congress has spoken with a strong voice in support of our Veterans this afternoon.  The Forever GI Bill expands the success our Veterans have had with the GI Bill providing opportunities that otherwise would not be possible.

In particular, it restores benefits to Veterans who were impacted by school closures since 2015 and has special benefits for our reservists, surviving dependents, and Purple Heart recipients.  This nation is stronger when our Veterans are studying and working next to their civilian counterparts.  Passage of this bill is a win for Veterans and their families.

What an amazing concept to extend the GI Bill especially to Purple Heart recipients – How old were the last 20 purple heart recipients? I can tell because the link doesn’t work – Worlds Largest Online Veterans Database

 

 

 

Crackerbarrel

Cracker Barrel’s Easter Heat ‘n Serve Meals is coming to Concord, NC

Crackerbarrel

 

Cracker Barrel and Operation Homefront are partnering up in April to offer a wonderful event to our Military and Veteran Families! Cracker Barrel’s Easter Heat ‘n Serve Meals is coming to Concord, NC on April 14th! Families that register to attend the event will receive the following: You must register for this event to participate.

 

    • 1 Spiral Sugar Ham
    • 1 32oz Roasted Turkey Gravy
    • 1 Tray of Yeast Rolls with Butter Packets
    • 1 Pan of Blackberry Cobbler
    • 1 Gallon of Sweet Tea
    • 1 5lb-Pan of Mashed Potatoes
    • 3 Sides – Mac N’ Cheese, Carrots & Green Beans

 

These meal kits offer enough food to feed 6-10 people a wonderful Easter dinner. Before registering, please keep in mind that you must be able to go to the event location at your designated time on April 14th, in order to pick up your items.    No one other than the individuals registered can pick up your items for you. You also must bring valid ID. There will be no alternate date or time offered to pick up your meal kits. If you will be unable to pick up a kit on April 14th, please DO NOT register for the event.

 

In order to attend and receive a meal kit for your family, you must register at https://events.operationhomefront.org

 

  • Once there, please click on “Military Family Login.”
  • If you are a returning user, please enter your login information.
  • If not, please click on “Create New Profile” in the top right corner.
  • Once you have completed your family profile, you will be able to register for the event.
  • Log back into your “Military Family Login” and Click “My Registrations” to see the registration in the “Upcoming Events” section. Click “Register Now!” If the event is available in your area.
    Complete the registration form and click Submit

 

Amazon is creating an apprenticeship program to train veterans for tech jobs

Amazon and the U.S. Department of Labor have signed an agreement to create a registered apprenticeship program to train veterans for tech jobs at the online..

Source: Amazon is creating an apprenticeship program to train veterans for tech jobs

Compensation Claims Mailing Review

I came across this post regarding Veterans Claims and Certified Mail –

New Claims Mailing Address

NEW CLAIMS MAILING ADDRESS FOR YOUR V.A. CLAIMS

By: Dr. Anna Pat Krupkin, Ph.D

National commander
WHY THE BACKLOG ON PENDING CLAIMS.

SURPRISE, SURPRISE, SURPRISE,
friendly V.A. Regional Offices, who have unknown to you RACKED, PACKED and STACKED your claims.

Yes it is true said your National commander Dr. Anna Pat Krupkin, Ph.D who discovered after she had the U.S. Postal Inspectors to investigate just what has happened to veterans supporting claims evidence that was mailed out Certified Mail with signed green card requested, after several months and in some cases now over a year those green cards were in fact kept by V.A. and not signed for as is required pursuant to U.S. Postal laws and regulations. No green cards were being returned as V.A. Regional Offices were keeping the mailings and they repacked all those veterans records and RACKED, PACKED, and STACKED and shipped them off to two separate V.A. locations within the United States depending on where you live.

The U.S. Postal service has one duty to deliver the mail, in the case of Certified Mail they must do one of two things, have the Green Card signed to complete the delivery if the receiver refuses the postal service must return the package to the sender not just surrender the package to the receiver without a signed green card yet in the case of their dealing with the V.A. they did just that.

V.A. has failed to notice all veterans who have pending claims that their evidence must be mailed to the two separate V.A. locations, V.a. has failed to send letters to those veterans and now since your local V.A. Regional Office has unknown to you forward your supporting evidence records to those two separate locations in Newnan, Georgia, or in Janesville, Wisconsin, no wonder veterans are enraged and many have killed themselves because of the claims games V.A. plays on our veterans. Because this clearly is additional form of V.A. abuse you should call and write your local Congress or State U.S. Senators, demand they address this issue or V.A. abuse will continue to get far worse.

We have attached the Correspondence page so you will now know where to send your claims supporting evidence. End.

By: Dr. Anna Pat Krupkin, Ph. D
National Commander uvoa.net
United Veterans of America
World Headquarters
46 Veterans Lane
Freeport, Florida 32439
Tel 1-(850) 835-2163 Fax 1-(850) 835-4036
Email: Commander@centurylink.net

What are your thoughts??

Marines raise the flag on Mt. Suribachi

african-americans-wwii-013 iwo jima   World War II  – 1945

The amphibious landings of Marines, after severe and relentless bombing of the island, began the morning of February 19, 1945, as the secretary of the navy, James Forrestal, accompanied by journalists, surveyed the scene from a command ship offshore. As the Marines made their way onto the island, seven Japanese battalions opened fire on the 9,000 Marines headed for them. By that evening, more than 550 Marines were dead and more than 1,800 were wounded. 

Although the famous photograph has long led people to believe that the flag-raising was a turning point in the fight for Iwo Jima, vicious fighting to control the island actually continued for 31 more days.  Let’s not forget that there were African Americans in Iwo Jima.

GUANTANAMO CLOSING?

image

President Obama is expected to detail his plan to begin the shutdown of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay when he speaks this morning at 10:30 AM ET, the White House says. Complete coverage on Fox News and FoxNews.com.

Veterans Appeals

Once the board receives your appeal, it assigns a docket date based on the date VA received your Form 9. This date is important: under the law, the board must work appeals in docket order.

Board of Appeals

Appeals at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals

Once the board receives your appeal, it assigns a docket date based on the date VA received your Form 9. This date is important: under the law, the board must work appeals in docket order. Currently, the median, or middle, docket date of appeals the board is working is July 2014. Some newer appeals can be pushed to the front of the line: those from older Veterans and survivors, those who are terminally-ill or those who have documented financial hardship, etc. It’s important to know that if the board remands (returns) your appeal to the regional office to gather more evidence, you won’t lose your place on the board’s docket.

Just like in the regional offices, several Veterans service organizations are located at the board. If you choose not to have a hearing before the board, your representative will write a legal argument on your behalf. The board will consider that argument when it conducts its own de novo review of your claim. If you choose to have a hearing, your representative will help you explain your case at that hearing. VA will transcribe the hearing and put it in your file. The board can do one of three things: grant your appeal, deny your appeal or send (remand) it back to the regional office for more action.

If you disagree with the board’s decision, you may pursue an appeal to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). If the CAVC denies your appeal, you can appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. If you lose the appeal there, you can petition the U.S. Supreme Court for review. The Supreme Court grants review in very few appeals. Generally, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court review only legal matters in an appeal, not agency decisions.

Author- Catherine Trombley

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