Bill Harding: Benefits change proposed

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Social Security bill proposed changes

— There is pending legislation to change Social Security benefits to broaden enrollment eligibility. There are petitions being circulated pro and con. Read up on the issues and contact your elected officials in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives so that they know how their constituency feels on this issue. It will affect all those drawing and scheduled to draw benefits in the future.

Thanks to the American Legion

Thanks to the local American Legion Post 62 and their members for proving liquor sales at the Moffat County fair events. The fair board had difficulty getting someone to provide this service for those in attendance of legal age.

Veteran service organization meetings

Next week is the 3rd week of the month, which means that it is the meeting week for the two veteran organizations in Craig. If you are a member, or wish to join, you should attend. Without active members, these Posts cannot do what they must in order to serve the local veteran community, nor support the local youths programs, scholarships and other needy assistance they perform. The VFW meets at their building next to City Park at 7 p.m. Monday. The American Legion meets at that building on Moffat County Road 7 (Shadow Mountain) at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Cromer contracting

I wish to acknowledge the owners and employees of Cromer Contracting. Behind the scenes, they are responsible for the setting and raising most of the flagpoles in the county and surrounding area. When the Moving Wall came to Craig last year, they donated their time to set up the flagpoles and lighting. They set the poles at the American Legion Post prior to their building dedication. This year, when the winds snapped the cable at the VFW Post they came with their equipment to restring a new cable so the flags could be flown again. Without their support to these organizations, setting and maintaining flagpoles, and also providing trailers for veteran parade entries, a lot of the symbols of patriotism in Craig wouldn't be evident.

VA medical treatment links

I am repeating information for veterans seeking medical care, so they have contact information handy. For scheduled appointments the toll free number for the VAMC Grand Junction is 866-206-6415. The number for the Craig Telehealth clinic is 824-6721, but all appointments and questions for service need first to call the VAMC number asking for extension 2778 (Kristine). All emergency or life-threatening treatments are to proceed to the nearest ER facility. In Craig that is The Memorial Hospital. Once seen by the admitting Doctor or ER nurse, the vet must contact the VA Authorization number within 24 hours for VA approval to pay for the ER visit. The VA medical authorization number is posted at the ER station and the vet, a family member or the ER staff should call 888-795-0773 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. All vets or their family members should tell the ER staff that the patient is a veteran currently receiving VA medical care as soon as the opportunity arises. If you haven't seen the VA in years and are actively enrolled or have not completed a VA Means Test in the past year, your status as an actively enrolled vet is not in effect. See my office to fill out the proper forms to re-enroll.

For information on these programs and/or other veterans' benefits, call or stop in the Moffat County VSO office at 480 Barclay St. (west of the Bank of Colorado parking lot). Call 970-824-3246 or use the fax 970-824-7108. Our e-mail address is veterans@moffatcounty.net. The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Other times can be arranged by appointment only. Bring a copy of your separation papers (DD-214) for application for VA programs and for filing at our office.

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