Friend of Melrose-Wakefield-Saugus Veteran Services and Rolling Thunder MA1 President Joe D'Entremont (see above) is a guest of honor today at the MVSOA conference, spreading awareness of POW/MIA issues in MA.
D'Entremont is asking VSOs to install POW/MIA Chairs of Honor in their communities, holding a special public ceremony to highlight the POW/MIA mission and keep our promise to Never Forget.
More than 50 towns and cities have adopted POW/MIA Chairs of Honor, a special placeholder in each community for those who fought for their country and have not returned home. The Chairs provide a special reminder to community residents and especially our younger generations that many soldiers and many families are still grieving the loss of a loved a one and what anxiously for news of their return. In Melrose, Wakefield and Saugus, we have installed POW/MIA Chairs of Honor located in Melrose City Hall and Saugus Town Hall. The Wakefield Chair is special in that it moves across the community quarterly, housed on locations where the message will have the most impact - buildings like Town Hall or the Library and town schools like the High School and the Galvin School.
Officials from the VA are telling us that although not every veteran is eligible for services, all should apply. Service-connected veterans, low-income veterans and veterans without health insurance are the VA's primary target. Here is a simplified process for applying for VA Healthcare. For more information, see our self-help page.
1.) Fill out VA Form 10-10EZ
2.) Submit online, mail or deliver the form in person
3.) If you choose to visit a VA medical facility, make sure you bring the completed form, additional financial information and your DD214.
Here are some eligibility criteria, but remember, every veteran should apply and get into the system.
Understanding Social Security is also an important part of our mission. While Chapter 115 benefits, delivered locally and funded through state reimbursement, are our best means for helping veterans timely, Massachusetts law dictates that VSOs try and obtain permanent benefits for veteran like VA Disability and Social Security when applicable. Helping veterans navigate the often difficult processes attached to federal benefit obtainment is a VSO function and one where every VSO should be an expert. Today we are learning best practices for helping veterans obtain and keep earned Social Security benefits.
Finally, a bit of news from the conference. Day Three (Wednesday) has been cancelled due to the pending snowstorm. Weather depending, we will be back in the office Wednesday to continue our local mission.