Upcoming activities, services announced

Upcoming veterans activities include: Nov. 5, Veteran’s Day Parade and Celebration, Kapa‘a Ballpark, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Nov. 11, Veteran’s Day Ceremony, Kaua‘i Veterans Cemetery, Hanapepe, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Dec. 11, Veteran’s Christmas Party, Kaua‘i Veterans Center, Lihu‘e, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Campaign to gather photos of Vietnam veterans who died in Vietnam — The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is expanding its efforts to bring awareness to those veterans who served and died in the Vietnam War by building an underground Education Center adjacent to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. When completed, the center will serve as a visitors learning center to educate future generations about those honorable men and women who gave everything for their country and to tell their stories. Other exhibits will showcase some of the 150,000 items left at “The Wall” in tribute, provide a timeline of events for the Vietnam War and the building of “The Wall,” examine the service and sacrifice of special groups of people, and celebrate the values embodied by all of America’s service members.

To accomplish this, the VVMF recently announced a nationwide campaign to locate photos and short stories of these veterans which will be displayed within the Education Center. To date, photos of nearly 22,000 of the total 58,272 veterans killed in Vietnam have been located. Of the 276 Hawai‘i veterans listed on “The Wall,” only 55 photos and stories have been received.

The VVMF is asking all families and friends of any veteran killed in Vietnam to visit their website at www.vvmf.org/pafwan to learn how to participate or to instantly upload photos and stories about their veteran. Also, all information contributed to the Education Center will be shared immediately on VVMF’s Virtual Wall. Each person whose name is on the Memorial has a profile page on this site. Visit www.vvmf.org/thewall to find the profile page for loved ones. To learn more about the Education Center, visit www.buildthecenter.org. The Hawai‘i POC for this project is Mr. Jason Cain at (910) 584-4018.

New ID card/CAC office hours at PMRF — Monday/Wednesday/Friday only, 8:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Questions, call Tita Yorkman at 335-4493/4235 x4235.

Substance abuse treatment available on Kaua‘i — The Kaua‘i VA Medical Clinic (CBOC) offers substance abuse counseling and treatment to veterans enrolled in the VA Medical Care Program. All services are confidential and group and individual sessions are available. Smoking cessation is also offered. POC: Paul Ochoa, Addictions Therapist, 246-0497.

Tai Chi/Q1 Gong Classes — Veterans, learn how to relax, reduce blood pressure and maintain good health by attending Tai Chi classes at the Kaua‘i Vet Center each Thursday from 11 a.m. to noon. To sign up, call 246-1163.

Veterans Affairs Combat Call Center — Located in Lakewood, Colo., and open 24/7, 365 day a year the center is available to assist all Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard personnel, all veterans, all family members, and all other concerned citizens. They offer free mental health, bereavement and other related counseling. They liaison with the National Suicide Prevention Hotline when needed to help veterans in crisis. If you or a loved one needs assistance and don’t know where to turn, please visit www.vetcenters.va.gov or call toll free 877-WAR-VETS.

No discharge documents, no burial benefits, no exceptions — To obtain veterans benefits from any government agency, an unaltered legible hard copy of the military discharge document(s) must be provided at the time of application. Veterans who have misplaced their discharge papers must write to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis to request a replacement copy. Average processing time is four to five weeks and there is no emergency processing for deceased veterans. Therefore, veterans must act now to ensure discharge documents are located and safely stored to prevent burial delays and family hardships upon their passing. Questions: 241-3348

What is My HealtheVet? — My HealtheVet is a web-based website that gives veterans information and tools to improve their health. Enhanced program features are added as they become available. To register and set-up your own personal access account, visit the Kaua‘i CBOC (Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

Free wireless Internet access and computer usage — The Kaua‘i Veterans Center located on Kapule Highway announces this new service to the Kaua‘i veteran community, including those veterans visiting our island. State-of-the-art computers are for in-center use only and have printing capability. Open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or call 246-1135 to reserve a time convenient for you.

Kaua‘i Veterans Military Museum – The Kaua‘i Veterans Military Museum offers a unique display of war memorabilia beginning in time with a regimental drum used in the Spanish American War to German mauser rifles once used by the Viet Cong in Vietnam. With more than 38 separate displays, the museum honors all services, all wars and all veterans. Located within the Kaua‘i Veterans Center on Kapule Highway near the airport, the museum is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., each Monday/Wednesday/Friday. Closed on holidays.

• Tony Elliott, Kaua‘i Office of Veterans’ Services, can be reached at 241-3348.

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