Veteran’s Hotline: A background on the flag |

Veteran’s Hotline: A background on the flag

Ed Wilkinson

During the National Anthem, everyone should rise and render the proper salute. This includes singing.

The colors of the flag have a meaning. White signifies purity and innocence. Red signifies hardiness and valor. Blue signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice.

The custom of the 21-gun salute began in the 14th century on the high seas with the salute by cannon.

During that time, warships fired a 7-gun salute, probably selected for either its astrological or Biblical significance. Warships would signal peaceful intentions when nearing a friendly port by disarming themselves (emptying their guns) and friendly shore batteries did the same.

This practice evolved from a meaningful gesture to a ritual salute. The shore batteries answered with three-shore salutes for every gun fired from the ship. The warships had seven guns to clear, so when the shore batteries answered, it all added up to 21 salutes.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

By 1875, the 21-gun salute was established as the international salute, with the United States adopting the practice on Aug. 18, 1875.

The burden of proof eased for PTSD

The path to gaining Veterans Affairs disability benefits went a lot faster and smoother this summer for veterans diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

If veterans have served in a war zone or another dangerous area, they no longer have to document a specific event or circumstance — what VA considers “the stressor” — that caused their PTSD.

Eligibility for compensation will no longer depend on finding a description of an incident in a unit record, or on gathering statements from credible eyewitnesses.

“This is good news for American veterans … especially for veterans who have had their military records damaged or destroyed, for women veterans whose records don’t specify that they’ve had combat experience, and for veterans who experienced combat, but have no record of it,” said Dr. Robert A. Petzel, VA undersecretary for health.

This month’s American Legion magazine goes into more detail.

Lincoln cemetery undergoing expansion

A $22.9 million expansion is scheduled for the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Ill.

VA awarded the contract to Kepa Services, Inc., a service-disabled veteran-owned small business from Milwaukee, Wis.

Remember that veterans with a discharge issued under conditions other than dishonorable, their spouses and eligible dependent children can be buried in a VA national cemetery

Also eligible are veterans who die on active duty, their spouses and eligible dependents. Other burial benefits available for all eligible veterans, regardless if they are buried in a national cemetery or a private cemetery, include a burial flag, Presidential Memorial Certificate and a government headstone or marker, or service medallion for a private marker.

Telehealth clinic slated to relocate

The Craig Telehealth Clinic is relocating to the former site of The Memorial Hospital, 785 Russell St., at the northwest entrance.  

The clinic will reopen Oct. 25. Flu shots will be available after that date.

Postcards will be sent to notify everyone.

For information on these programs and/or other veterans’ benefits, call or stop in the Moffat County Veterans Service 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.

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