Veteran’s Hotline: ‘Operation Welcome Home’ could face funding struggles |

Veteran’s Hotline: ‘Operation Welcome Home’ could face funding struggles

Ed Wilkinson

In California, the governor launched "Operation Welcome Home."

This $20 million program is designed to help veterans transition from battle to the home front.

The governor said, "We are doing more than thanking them. We are showing them our gratitude through our actions."

The governor's office called the funding critical in allowing county veteran service officers to meet the needs of the state's 2.1 million veterans, including an estimated 165,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, in filing for employment, education, housing, health care, family support and federal benefits.

But, a bipartisan committee chaired by a state senator recently voted to limit the "Operation Welcome Home" funding increase from $8.4 million to $1.11 million.

Pete Conaty, a lobbyist for the California Association of County Veteran Service Officers, said "without that money, 'Operation Welcome Home' will almost certainly be a failure and this will result in another broken promise to our veterans."

Recommended Stories For You

VA looking out for vets in Gulf states

Veterans in the Gulf states impacted by the oil spill may qualify for delayed mortgage payments if their mortgages are already guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Secretary Eric Shinseki urged all mortgage companies to extend every possible forbearance to veterans whose livelihoods have been affected by the oil spill crisis.

Shinseki noted that several mortgage companies have already announced plans to waive late payment charges and suspend negative reporting to credit bureaus on affected borrowers.

Loan program makes ownership affordable

There are currently about 1.3 million active home loans that have been obtained using VA's Home Loan Guarantee.

The program makes home ownership more affordable for veterans, active-duty service members and eligible surviving spouses by permitting low or no down payment loans, and by protecting lenders from loss if the borrower fails to repay the loan.

Message Regarding suicide prevention

I am trying to get a representative to give a short seminar on suicide prevention.

I need a basic overview and signs to look for and what to say or not say to someone who indicates they want to commit suicide.

It will be held at the VFW and probably be 1 or 2 hours long.

This is just a heads-up so when the talk is scheduled, I will post it in my hotline and everyone who is interested can make plans to attend.

Unfortunately, we have too many suicides in Craig, and our concern is making everyone aware of the indicators and in our case, especially taking care of veterans.

Honor Flight set to take off in October

Another Honor Flight is being arranged for Oct. 5 and 6. Anyone interested in going can find applications in my office.

Craig Telehealth Clinic reminder

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 healthcare services to veterans in a setting that is both 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 on-going for veterans currently enrolled in the VAMC Healthcare system. Questions? Call 824-6721.

Tele-psych services now available

Veterans can now get tele-pysch services at the Craig VA Telehealth clinic. All they need to do is call 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

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.

Go back to article