BY Robert A. (Bob) Kinsler, US Army, Ret, DAV, VFW Post 3658, Adjutant/PAO (Public Affairs Officer)
Well the first article did it’s Job, it started the conversation going again. I was called about various VA Challenges people are having (and set up appt to take further action on those cases) and visited about the Parade and when we have our VFW meetings. One comment though, I did not list my military retired rank since we do not wear rank at the VFW but provide our services as comrades.
We have these business card sized Invite Cards that list when our meetings are, our website and Facebook page location along with our fund raising events that happen each week. So if you get one, pass it to those that want to know about the Antlers VFW we have a lot more to pass out. And would you believe I am getting calls from other VFW posts about where to get these, I already answered those questions.
Rocky Woolman is our Service Officer for our local VFW, (and recently found out that there are no others within Pushmataha County) although with those that have internet connection and can visit this blog – Blog.va.gov/Vantage/9648/get-the-fastest-claim-decision-file-a-fully-developed-claim/) you can help provide those needed services too.
What the blog is showing is something new for the Veterans Administration- a checklist style procedure that one can send in with appropriate documentation via the VA website and get decisions in half the time as submitting it with paper documentation via the VAMC (and we here in Pushmataha have two different VAMC systems [the Dallas and Oklahoma City]). Just read and help out those that do not have internet connection, please.
For those who have friends or relatives still serving, remind them to get a complete copy of their medical records before processing out of service. This can eliminate a lot of time getting those claims processed. The procedure where the individual services were transferring your medical records to the VA is not ongoing right now due to budget cuts.
The hard problem (which the VFW is working on) is while the Active Duty and Military Retirees have Tri-Care (which for the first time-Retiree Standard Tri-Care will cost $140 a year and going up for those under the age of 65); our veterans who have families and did not retire will have to purchase one of those Medicare plans thanks to Obama Care (yes even the President refers to his Health Affordability Act as Obama Care). The veteran can get his/her medical insurance with VAMC, but that does not help with the other family members. At this printing nothing has come out on a preferred plan yet, but VFW is looking for a good solution.
I understand that those who are over 65 years old and qualify for Tri-Care for Life and use the VA Medicare System too better be careful as with Obama Care challenges a recent Tri-Care internal audit found that Tri-Care had been paying for non-service connected assessed by the VA on the elderly veterans. This will end come October 1, 2013. The challenge seems to be that while VA Medicare Centers are a Tri-Care For Life (TFL) provider they are not Medicare certified (why not, I really do not know). I will have a copy of this article at our next VFW membership meeting for all to read.
That reminds me; per the Quarter Master of VFW Post 3658 the hall is open for rental. Contact Jerry Fain at 580-298-7258 for more information on that. We also are cleaning up the space behind the Post so that one can walk around back there. Hopefully soon we will also have picnic tables for your enjoyment. There are plans to do more but we will have to insure we have the finances to get those in place.
Lastly knowing that some of our veterans are looking for work – I would check out Family Dollar and General Dollar stores here in Antlers they seem to need a little leadership in the Assistant Manager position (full time). Also one might just spot by the Red Barn Liquor Store and put an application in there too (part-time).
More next week.
By the way, if you want to complain, add your support, or have something you want added to this article contact me at 580-271-0897 or Email me at BobKinsler@Localnet.com . This is the veterans news and if you have something let me know, please.