Kaua‘i Veterans Corner

Important

documents for VA

Veterans seeking a Department of Veterans Affairs benefit for the first time must submit a copy of their service discharge form (DD-214, DD-215 or for WWII veterans, a WD form).

These documents have the service dates and types of discharge. This form should be kept in a safe location and accessible to the veteran and next of kin.

Visits by VA Counselor

The VA has resumed the monthly visits of a its counselor from Honolulu. The visits will be on the third Wednesday of each month. The next visit is scheduled for June 20. For an appointment, call 246-1163.

VA Category 8 care

There are eight priority groups for those seeking VA medical care. All veterans are eligible for treatment in a VA clinic except those in Priority Group 8. These are veterans with income and/or net worth above both the VA Means Test and the Geographic Means threshold.

Legislation has been introduced to restore eligibility for health care for all Category 8 veterans called “Honor Our Commitment to Veterans Act” in Sen. Bill S1147. The similar House Bill is HR 463. Veterans are encouraged to write our congressional representatives to support these bills. If passed, all veterans will be eligible for VA outpatient medical care.

Federal benefits handbook

The 2007 edition of the federal benefits for veterans and dependents handbook is available on a first come first served basis at both the Office of Veterans Services and the local VA office. This is an excellent booklet and is free for veterans.

Veteran’s presence is diminishing

In an article by Slate Magazine, the presence of veterans in many communities is slowly shrinking. With the ongoing war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the number of military serving in those areas do not compare with the millions who served during WWII, Korea and Vietnam. As a result, the percentage of veterans within the community is slowly diminishing. There are slightly more than 5,000 veterans on Kaua‘i.

State Veterans Home

The state Veterans’ Home will open in August and applications are being accepted. The home will provide long term care to veterans and some eligible family members. Veterans applying must be recognized as an eligible veteran by the VA and must have been honorably discharged. The individual must require skilled or long-term nursing home care as defined by the VA, Medicaid or Medicare and certified by a physician.

The individuals must have resided in Hawai‘i prior to induction into the military or those with one year residency. They must be able to pay the resident’s portion of the cost of care unless covered by other sources. On a space-available basis, the home may accept spouses, widows/widowers and Gold Star parents up to a maximum of 10 percent of the bed capacity. If there is a waiting list, the admissions team has established priorities for admission.

For information, call the Home Administrator Neil Oyama, 927-0950

Columbaria

There has been a delay on the installation of the Columbaria at the Veterans Cemetery. The hurdles have been lifted and there is a possibility of completion by Veterans Day, Nov. 12.

Revisit Korea program

The Republic of Korea through the Korea Veterans Association sponsors subsidized tours in South Korea for Korean War Veterans. Veterans who served during the Korean conflict from June 25, 1950 to October 15, 1954 are eligible. A recent change allowed the widows and children of those killed in the war to participate in the program. There is no cost for hotel accommodations, meals, tours and transportation within the country. The veteran, spouse and children must pay the round-trip transportation costs to and from South Korea. Those interested are asked to call the Military Historical Tours office, 1-800-722-9501.

Wearing of Medals

The Secretary of Veteran Affairs, Jim Nicholson, urges all veterans to wear their medals during occasions honoring or memorializing veterans. Veterans are encouraged to wear it tomorrow, no matter what they are doing, but especially if attending a public event or service.

According to Nicholson, “Wearing their medals demonstrates the deep pride our veterans have in their military service. … It also reminds all American citizens, especially the young, about the sacrifices our veterans have made for their freedom.

Vietnam Era Veterans Stand down

The annual gathering for Vietnam era veterans will start 11 a.m., today, at the Veterans Center in Lihu‘e. Lunch will be served. There is no cost for attendance. Veterans and their families are invited to attend. For more information, call Bill Honjiyo, 335-3273.

Memorial Day services

The Memorial Day services will start at 10 a.m. today at the Veterans Cemetery in Hanapepe.

Fourth of July Roundup

The annual veterans’ roundup and celebration will begin with available counselors at 9 a.m., and opening ceremonies and festivities will start at 11 a.m., July 4. Lunch costs $3 per person or $10 per family. For information, contact Ed Kawamura Sr., at 245-3524.

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