Ed Wilkinson: Mourning the late Bill Harding

We mourn the passing of Bill Harding, the former Moffat County veterans service officer. A longtime Craig resident who later moved to Grand Junction, Bill died Jan. 30 in Denver.

He was dedicated to helping not only veterans, but also anyone who asked.

Bill spent many hours of his own time promoting the Honor Flight, the mapping of veteran graves at the cemetery, doing the job as veterans service officer, quartermaster of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 and quartermaster of American Legion Post 62.

He also conducted the placing of flags on veteran graves and reading their names on Memorial Day.

His funeral was Friday at First Congregational Church, 630 Green St

Veterans news and notes

• Veterans Affairs will freeze the increase in prescription medicine until June 30. The price will increase from $8 per monthly prescription to $9 after that date.

• There will be no Cost of Living Allowance for year 2010 because of the Consumer Price Index going down.

The Social Security Administration announced there will be no COLA for Social Security recipients, so under federal law, VA COLA’s cannot exceed the Social Security’s COLA’s.

• The VA may reimburse or pay for medical care provided to certain enrolled or otherwise eligible veterans by non-VA facilities only in cases of medical emergencies where VA or other federal facilities were not feasibly available. Other conditions also apply.

To determine eligibility or to initiate a claim, contact the VA medical facility nearest to where the emergency service was provided.

There are also Web sites and telephone numbers where you can register if you plan to travel or living outside the U.S.

• To expand health care to a record-number of veterans, reduce the number of homeless veterans and process a dramatically increased number of new disability compensation claims, the White House has announced a proposed $125 million budget next year for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Census Bureau jobs available for veterans

The Census Bureau is taking applications for people to conduct the census this year.

Veterans interested can get a 5- or 10-point lead over civilians applying for the same job. The telephone number to call is 1-866-861-2010 or visit www.2010censusjobs.gov.

Wages are paid plus mileage.

Applications for Honor Flight available to vets

If you are a World War II veteran, or you know of one, the applications for the Honor Flight this May are available in my office.

The flight is free and the veterans I have talked to said it is well worth it.

Also, if you would like to go as a caregiver, there is a fee, but it is nominal for the trip, food and lodging.

Donations can be made by organizations and individuals to defray the costs of the flight.

Come see me for more information.

Craig Community Telehealth Clinic

The Craig Community Telehealth Clinic offers U.S. veterans state-of-the-art technology as well as onsite nursing support and remote practitioner availability. The goal is to provide an extensive array of health care services to veterans in a setting that is accessible and professional. To appropriately plan and coordinate your visit, access to the clinic is by appointment only. The clinic cannot handle emergency needs. Flu shot walk-ins are still ongoing for veterans currently enrolled in the VAMC Healthcare system. Call 824-6721 with questions.

Tele-psych services now available to veterans

Veterans can now get tele-pysch services at the Craig VA Telehealth clinic. All they need to do is call 970-263-2824 to set up a follow-up appointment for their mental health visit to be done there. If there are any questions, contact Jayne Scribner at VAMC Grand Junction via phone or e-mail.

Her e-mail address is Jayne.Scribner@va.gov

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 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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