Veterans Hotline: Hospital changes and new award for vets

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Ed Wilkinson

I attended a congressional forum in Grand Junction on Monday. Items of discussion were the progress of a VA hospital in Denver, attendance results of outreach clinics, management updates, an administrative update and a report from customer relations.

The VA hospital in Denver has hit a big snag because of over-budget expenditures. So work has slowed down until the VA and a contractor come up with a new agreement.

The attendance in our clinic in Craig has increased over last year by 12 percent. This is good news, and hopefully, we can get more services up here.

Management and administration are dealing with issues at the hospital.

The report from Paul Sweeney, director of customer relations, dealt with firearms and post-traumatic stress disorder.

If a veteran being treated for PTSD is not considered a threat, his or her weapons will not be taken away. Also, those people are not placed on any type of list while being treated. This would be a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

A letter to all veterans who are not enrolled in VA health care is being sent out to inform them of procedures for enrolling in health care and the benefits they can receive. I have copies in my office, so if you do not get one in the near future, please drop by and I will give you one.

There is an award available to veterans. It is called the Cold War Victory Commemorative Military Medal. This award honors all soldiers, sailors and Marines who served between Sept. 2, 1945, and December 1991.

Even though your DD Form 214 may not reflect this, your dates of service will be proof. I have the form to fill out if anyone would like to send it to the Military Personnel Records Center.

The VFW monthly meeting is at 7 p.m. Aug. 19 at 419 E. Victory Way. American Legion’s meeting is at 7 p.m. Aug. 20 at 1055 Moffat County Road 7.

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