Bill Harding, Veterans Service Officer

Bill Harding, Veterans Service Officer

Bill Harding: Camp Lejeune conducts water study


Bill Harding, Veterans Hotline

Bill Harding's "Veterans Hotline" column appears in the Craig Daily Press .

The following article was send to me, and it didn't get a banner in last week's article. I am repeating it, so it gets to those it may affect.

This is important to any Marines and their families who were stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., during the period between 1957 and 1987.

I am passing it along so it reaches as many Marine families as possible.

"The United States Marine Corps encourages all those who resided at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune between 1957 to 1987 to register at to receive updated information and notifications regarding the ongoing water study. If you know of any family members or friends who were at Camp Lejeune during this period, please encourage them to register.

"The Marine Corps is reaching out to other government agencies in attempt to reach Marines, civilians and family members who resided at Camp Lejeune, N.C., between 1957 to 1987.

"In response to this effort, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be sending out letters on our behalf. The IRS has not disclosed any addresses or other tax information and has no involvement in the matter aside from forwarding the letter. If you receive a letter from the IRS and are already registered, no action is required. If you are not registered, please go to or call our toll-free hotline: 1-877-261-9782. If you are already registered and need to update your information, please call the toll free hotline at the number provided."

'Taking Chance' trailer, making-of now online

If you missed the HBO special Saturday, you can go online and Google "Taking Chance HBO" to see the trailers and how this film was made. This film was about Chance Phelps, who lived in Craig and Maybell for most of his young life and then was killed in action in Iraq. The movie was about the return of his body to his family, who had moved to Dubois, Wyo. Some people who saw this special presentation said it is a very emotional film. I understand that several people also recorded the program. If so, I would like to know so I can get a copy to other people without HBO. I understand the network also will be running it again in the future.

Changes to VA home loan help with finances

Recent changes to the VA Home Loan Guaranty Program are helping veterans in financial difficulty. The new VA Loan Electronic Reporting Interface (VALERI) system provides banks and lending institutions more opportunities to help veteran borrowers retain their homes in this difficult mortgage environment. VALERI is a rules-based system designed to identify veterans who are experiencing financial difficulty.

VALERI automates VA's previously paper-based processes. Now, via the Internet, servicemen can electronically report delinquencies and major loan events, apply VA rules to help borrowers become current and send electronic documents and file claims. VA completed the transition of all VA-backed loan servicemen nationwide to the new electronic reporting system in November 2008. Servicemen now report on daily activities for more than 1.2 million VA-guaranteed loans. As a result of VA's efforts to help veteran borrowers retain their homes, VA's serious delinquency rate (loans more than 90 days delinquent) has decreased during the past six years. According to the most recent Mortgage Bankers Association National Delinquency Survey, VA's serious delinquency rate is 3 percent, as compared to 17.85 percent for subprime loans. Three hundred VA loan technicians at nine regional offices assist veterans and service members with VA-guaranteed loans avoid foreclosure by helping establish repayment plans, special forbearance, or loan modifications. VA loan technicians also provide as much assistance as possible to other veterans who do not have their home loans guaranteed by VA. Information about VA's home loan guaranty program is available at

Washington D.C. trip for WWII veterans

We still are looking for WWII veterans to go to Washington D.C. this spring. We also are looking for sponsors to help defray the costs of this program out of Grand Junction's airport. If you have questions or need an application, contact my office between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Telehealth clinic offers technology, support

The Craig Community Clinic offers veterans state-of-the-art technology, as well as onsite nursing support and remote practitioner availability. Our goal is to provide an extensive array of health care services to our veterans in a setting that is accessible and professional. In order to appropriately plan and coordinate your visit, access to the clinic is by appointment only. The clinic will not handle emergency needs.

Flu shot walk-ins still are ongoing for vets currently enrolled in the VAMC health care system. Questions? Call 824-6721.

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 824-3246 or use the fax, 824-7108. Our e-mail address is 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.


AndreaB 8 years, 1 month ago

Bill, Thank you so much for writing about the Camp Lejeune water contamination. It has affected thousands of people. If anyone would like more information about the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, please visit the website of The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten at On TFTPTF's website you will find a historical documents library, photo gallery, illness registry and discussion board. Thanks again Bill!


Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.