Bill Harding, Veterans Service Officer

Bill Harding, Veterans Service Officer

Bill Harding: Inauguration Day for Barack Obama is Jan. 20

Historical veteran/national dates

• Jan. 14 - Churchill & Stalin meet at Casablanca [1943]

• Jan. 17 - Air war for Desert Storm begins [1991]

• Jan. 19 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day

• Jan. 20 - Inauguration Day for Barack Obama [43rd President] • Jan. 28 - US Coast guard established [1915]

Vietnam - Peace plan announced [1973]

• Jan. 30 - Tet offensive launched by Viet Cong [1968]

Senior citizen snow removal program

This VSO office has been getting a lot of calls for snow removal since we're snowed up the first of this month. I will assist, but the main contact for this community service is American Legion Post 62 on Moffat County Road 7. Call Mel Shockley, the commander, and he'll add you to the list and supply it to the Sheriff's Office.

When there is 3 inches of snow or more, then the SO will send inmates out to clean off sidewalks or a path down the driveway, if that is the only access to the house. This isn't, nor is there, a program to do driveways; however, the city will clean out driveway openings where the big plows have closed them off. And the county will clean driveways for seniors outside city limits if you have registered for the program.

Parents can get VA benefits, as well

Benefits for parents often are overlooked by many surviving family members of a veteran whom has died from service-connected disability or died while on active duty. This is called Dependency & Indemnity Compensation.

Parents, whose child died in service or from a service-connected disability, may be entitled to DIC if they are in financial need. Parents may be biological, step, adopted or "in loco parentis."

The amount of DIC payment from the VA solely is determined by the reported income of the surviving parent. Factors such as medical bills can offset income. All income from all sources must be counted, including Social Security, etc.

For instance, a sole-surviving parent not remarried or remarried living with a spouse with a total income of $1,000 a month could be eligible for a VA DIC payment of $521 a month (2007 figures). The amount of DIC payment would decrease as the reported income and VA benefits would increase.

The VA may require, as a condition of granting or continuing DIC to a parent that such parent, other than one who has attained 72 years of age, and has been paid DIC during two consecutive calendar years, file for a calendar year with the VA a report showing the total income such parent expects to receive in that year, and the total income such parent received in the preceding year. The parent or parents shall notify the VA whenever there is a material change in annual income.

There is a considerable list of income sources not included in the above income report, and this office can obtain that information.

If you are the parent of a deceased son or daughter who died from service-connected disabilities or died while in active military service, and you are on limited income, I urge you to stop by and see a CVSO for this possible DIC parental benefit.

Washington, D.C., trip for WWII veterans

Still looking for WWII veterans to go to Washington, D.C., this May and seeking 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 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday.

Veteran Flu shots still offered at VA clinic

Flu shots still can be obtained at the Craig VA Telehealth Clinic. Call or walk in, and visit with April Branstetter and Robbie Fentress. Vets currently must be enrolled in the VAMC health care system in order to get this service locally. Questions? Call 824-6721.

Military museums and memorials in the area

To look for a military museum/memorials in your area, or where you may be traveling, refer to the following:

• www.military.com/Resources/ResourceSubmittedFileView?file=museums_museum_guide.htm - a guide to assist you in locating a military-themed museum, monument or memorial. Where available, a Web link, an address, and phone and fax numbers have been provided. The site allows you to select a search by theme (i.e WWII, Civil War, etc.) in state order or by state in alphabetical order.

• http://usmilitary.about.com/od/museums/Military_Museums.htm -a list of online museums.

• www.penfed.org/usawoa/woheritage/foundation_heritage_museum.htm - a list of Foundations, Heritage, History & Military Museum Links

Source: Various Dec 08 ++

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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