Base Cleveland Veteran News

Friday, December 30, 2016Vet News Masthead

Prepared and distributed monthly to Veterans and supporters of those who served 

Special Events

  • Joint Veterans Council of Cuyahoga County

Joint Veterans Council of Cuyahoga County Veteran of the Year and Officer Installation Luncheon – scheduled for 12 noon, Saturday, February 18, 2018 at the Embassy Suites Cleveland-Independence Hotel located at 5800 Rockside Woods Blvd., Independence, OH

The program will honor the 2016 Outstanding Veteran of the Year

The social hour will begin at 11 AM with the program – including lunch, beginning at 12 noon.  Tickets:  http://jvcocc2017.eventbrite.com/

For further information, email info@jvcocc.org or call JVCOCC at 216-373-7799

  • The Veterans Service Commission will have a representative in the following Cuyahoga County Public Library branches on selected dates 9 AM – 3 PM to assist Veterans will filing for VA befits, temporary financial assistance and transportation (bus tickets) for VA appointments.
  • North Olmsted Branch
  • North Royalton Branch
  • Solon Branch
  • South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch

See the following link for further information: M:\BSD_Veterans Service Commission Poster (3) (3).pdf

 Attention Veterans:  Cuyahoga County Veterans Service Commission Winter Clothing Program

Don’t get caught in the cold this winter.  The Cuyahoga County Veterans Service Commissioner Winter Clothing Program is here.

Read the offer and requirements here:  M:\ATTENTION VETERANS!!!!! (3).pdf

News

My Christmas in Vietnam: Patrick M. McLaughlin

CLEVELAND — My best Christmas memory is 1967. My last day in the boonies as an infantry “grunt” after 111/2 months was Christmas Eve. Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry ( aka “Dogface Charlie”), was positioned off Highway 13, between the Big Red One’s base camp at Lai Khe and the town of An Loc located 90 kilometers (about 56 miles) north of Saigon. Highway 13 was dubbed by the troops as “Thunder Road” because of the numerous battles, skirmishes, and ambushes occasioned by efforts to Read the full story

Volunteers working to preserve war histories as the number of WWII vets diminishes

Time is running out. The youngest World War II veterans are in their 90s now, and many of them are well past the ability to articulate their experiences. That makes these moments all the more important for Suzanne Nichols as she sets up her video camera on a tripod, focuses the lens on Clyde Dye, then prompts him: “So you were telling me about that oil tanker …” Nichols records military stories and collects documents and photos for the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Read the full story

Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act of 2016

On December 16, 2016, H.R. 5015, the Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act of 2016 became Public Law No: 114-292. The new law provides veterans medically separated, or retired from the military due to combat-related injuries another opportunity to recoup the taxed portion of their severance payments.

The law requires the Department of Defense (DOD) to identify veterans medically separated from military service due to combat-related injuries that were issued severance payments after January 17, 1991, and withheld amounts for tax purposes.

DOD will provide this group of veterans with a notice of the amount of improperly withheld severance payments, and instructions for filing amended federal tax returns to recover the withheld amount. The period for filing this IRS claim for a credit, or refund is extended to one year after DOD provides the veteran with the information required by this Act.

This law will be a significant benefit to this group of injured and ill veterans, and partially fulfills DAV Resolution 011 that calls for allowing all veterans to recover taxes withheld from their disability severance pay.

The next White House Press Secretary is a Navy officer

Military Times:  The next White House press secretary will be a Navy commander with 17 years’ experience in the reserves, President-Elect Donald Trump announced Thursday. Sean Spicer, currently the Republican Party communications chief, was named the chief spokesman for Trump’s administration as part of a series of appointments to the incoming commander-in-chief’s communications team. The move is a natural transition for Spicer, who has been among the most visible surrogates for Trump in recent months, and one of Read the full story

Trump meets with Cleveland Clinic’s CEO for top VA position

WASHINGTON — Cleveland Clinic CEO Delos “Toby” Cosgrove interrupted vacation plans to fly to Palm Beach and meet with President-elect Donald Trump Tuesday. A Cleveland Clinic spokeswoman said Cosgrove and the Clinic would not discuss the meeting,…

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2016/12/trump_interviews_the_cleveland.html

President signs ‘Fairness for Veterans’ into law

WASHINGTON — With President Barack Obama’s signature of the annual defense policy Friday, the Fairness for Veterans provision becomes law.  The Fairness for Veterans Act was featured in the TEGNA investigative docu-series, Charlie Foxtrot. The bill requires military discharge review boards to consider post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

More than 12,000 people signed a petition calling for Congress to pass the provision after watching the series. The provision was included in the National Defense Authorization Act.

Earlier this month, Charlie Foxtrot was shown on Capitol Hill as part of a discussion with participants of the docu-series, as well as several bills aimed at safeguarding veterans’ mental health.

As a result of the passage of this bill, the military will now be required to consider mental health conditions for troops who receive less than honorable discharges.  If a service member does something the military considers undesirable, their mental health will now factor in to any discharge review. Now, thousands of veterans will now be eligible for at status upgrade and VA medical care.

Two key Senate chairmen call for new VA leadership

Beleaguered Department of Veterans Affairs officials, still reeling from a 2014 scandal over the coverup of long patient wait times, should expect more unwanted attention after Donald Trump takes office.

Two Senate committee chairman are urging the president-elect to pursue reform at the VA, which they said has “an urgent need to improve veteran care, promote accountability, and protect whistleblowing within the VA.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/12/20/two-key-senate-chairmen-call-for-new-va-leadership/?utm_term=.281eb2de1490

Veterans Crisis Line Improves Service with New Call Center in Atlanta

The Department of Veteran Affairs cut the ribbon today for its new Veteran Crisis Line (VCL) satellite office in Atlanta allowing the life-saving hotline to expand capacity by nearly 600 Veterans each day essentially doubling VA’s ability to help Veterans in need. As a part of the MyVA initiative, the largest restructuring in the Department’s  . . . . read it here http://www.veteransresources.org/2016/12/veterans-crisis-line-improves-service-new-call-center-opening-atlanta/?utm_source=Feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Veterans+Resources+Feed#.WFqvE6Mo7jw

Veterans Groups Applaud New Rule Aimed at Decreasing VA Wait Times – Veterans Resources

http://www.veteransresources.org/2016/12/veterans-groups-applaud-new-rule-aimed-decreasing-va-wait-times/?utm_source=Feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Veterans+Resources+Feed#.WFwCroY8KEc

CDC probes possible bias in Legionnaires’ investigation

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week it has launched an internal probe into how its staff investigated the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System’s Legionnaires’ outbreak, following a recent Post-Gazette series outlining the role bias may have played in reporting Read the full story

Pilot shot down in 2006 has been buried at Arlington 3 times

A decade after his plane was shot down over Iraq, Air Force Major Troy Gilbert has been laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery—for the third time. Read the full story

Welcome to MyVA.COM. . . . getting it right from the start

Enrolling for VA care is a life-changing decision for Veterans. Choosing your health care provider is a leap of faith that will impact your entire life. “Welcome to MyVA” (W2MyVA) starts that relationship right with a welcoming call from an informed, service-oriented VA representative.

http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/30277/welcome-myva-getting-right-start/

Attention Military Veterans:

The Social Security Administration is awarding prior military service men and women credit towards their SSA earnings!  You don’t get it automatically, you have to apply.  For a certain period, you get $300 each quarter of a year you served in active duty or reserve.

Here’s the link: Retirement Planner: Special Extra Earnings for Military Service

Volunteerism

Here are some great opportunities to put your military experiences to work benefiting others in need.

  • Project GreenCare for Troops:  a national 10-year old program that provides free lawn, landscape and snow removal services for military families and veterans with a service-related disability needs your support.  There are more than 225,000 military personnel deployed in 150 countries and 3.6 million veterans with a service-related disability needing day-to-day household and lifestyle assistance.

Project EverGreen’s GreenCare for Troops and SnowCare for Troops provides complimentary basic year maintenance, and snow and ice removal services to military families and disable Veterans.  For more information contact Ki Matsko at 888.611.2955 or kimatsko@projectevergreen.org

  • The American Red Cross’ unwavering commitment to members of the U.S. military, its veterans and their families continues to grow and develop more than a century after Clara Barton first recruited nurses to support the U.S. Army. Today, the Red Cross is meeting the needs of a changing military and expanding services to veterans. Red Cross support of military members and their families enhances morale and contributes to increased operational capability in several ways.  New volunteers: visit https:redcross.org/neo Click on “volunteer” tab.
  • Cleveland Municipal Court’s Veterans Treatment Docket needs volunteers – preferably military veterans to help Veterans transition to a successful life.  If you are interested in volunteering to help our veterans successfully re-enter civilian life, please contact Derek Moore at (216) 664-4712 or via email at moored@cmcoh.orgfor additional information.
  • Needed:  ‘A few good mentors’:  The Cuyahoga Common Pleas Veteran Treatment Court (VTC) is a judge-monitored treatment program for military veterans.  A key component of the program is volunteer Veteran Mentors who volunteer their time to help veterans re-adapt to civilian life.   For more information visit: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1NiwCZ_V-9iTF8wYXhqcE4yWm8/view?usp=sharing

Employment Opportunities / Links

Veteran Job Search Assistance:  If you know a Veteran or Military Spouse who could benefit from FREE, UNLIMITED job search coaching, please have them visit www.gunnyret.com to schedule a “First Call”.

Ohio National Guard Employment Enhancement Supporthttps://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6KQApfHm1pGbnByRGlTNEhyUlU/view?usp=sharing

Free, Unlimited Military Veteran Job Search Coaching:  provided by www.gunnyret.com

VA JOBS Home:  http://www.va.gov/jobs/

Ohio.govhttp://agency.governmentjobs.com/ohio/default.cfm?clearSearch=1

Cleveland:  http://www.city.cleveland.oh.us/CityofCleveland/Home/Government/CityAgencies/HumanResources/OpenPositions

USAJobshttps://www.usajobs.gov/Veterans

MilitaryJobs.comhttp://www.military.com/veteran-jobs

Ohio Federal Government Jobshttp://federalgovernmentjobs.us/job-location/ohio-oh.html

Stars and Stripes; Veteran Job Center:  http://veteranjobs.stripes.com/

USERRA:  The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protects service members’ reemployment rights when returning from a period of service in the uniformed services, including those called up from the reserves or National Guard, and prohibits employer discrimination based on military service or obligation. The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) administers USERRA

Information Links

Veteran Service Commission Meetings – are open to the public.   The Commissioners encourage members of the Veteran Community to come and see how the Cuyahoga County Veteran Commission works and the benefits available to our Veterans. The meetings are held at the Commission offices at 1849 Prospect Avenue, Suite 150, Cleveland, Ohio 44115 at 9:30 AM the first and third Wednesday of each month.

Free Parking:  The Veterans Service Commission reserved parking spaces in the lot just East of our building (on Prospect Avenue).  The lot has signs posted noting they belong to the Veterans Service Commission.  This will allow veterans to park for free.

Peer Advisors for Veteran Education:  Representatives from more than 40 colleges and universities have come together to learn ways to support student Veterans who face two significant changes simultaneously: transitioning from the military to civilian life and the transition from the military to academia. Neither of these is easy.  Read more at www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/29879/new-va-partnership-expands-power-of-peer-support-among-student-veterans/

Get connected with V.E.T.S Program:  The Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland is sponsoring a series of job preparedness, career development, financial literacy and computer training workshops.  The program is designed to help veterans overcome barriers in order to transition from military life, prepare to compete for jobs in the civilian labor force.

The VETS Program is in collaboration with the Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET), Cuyahoga Valley Careers Center, and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) Veterans Program

Read it here:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1NiwCZ_V-9iQzJERUUwdThPaG8/view?usp=sharing

VAntage Point:  the official blog of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs:  http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/subscribe/

311VET – new app answers general VA benefits questions http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/23378/311vet-new-app-answers-general-va-benefits-questions/

Cuyahoga Community College Veteran Upward Bound Program:  Since 1973, VUB has provided comprehensive educational support services to eligible U.S. military veterans interested in pursuing a college degree or certificate.  Services include academic enrichment classes, math and English tutors, assistance with applying for federal student aid, and transition into a college or university of their choice.  All services are no cost to the veteran.  For information call 216-987-4938 or visit www.Tri-C.edu/vub

Amputee Recreational Support Group of Central Ohio:   http://www.arsgcoh.org/ regularly schedules recreational activities for amputees – Veterans and non-Veterans, including Yoga for Amputees, shooting events, and recreational swimming.  For more information, contact Robert Hass at (614) 288-5105 or Amputee@columbus.rr.com

Department of Defense Media Center:  http://www.dma.mil/

Veterans Business Support Center:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1NiwCZ_V-9iS0NiUjQ3cnFLTE0/view?usp=sharing

Ohio National Guard Employer Advisory Council:  The ONG Employer Advisory Council was developed to provide military-friendly employers with useful resources and guidance to help them success with military retention and recruitment initiatives.  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1NiwCZ_V-9ibUNOOGo2S2gybWc/view?usp=sharing

USS COD:  http://USSCOD.org

Columbus Honor Flightwww.honorflightcolumbus.org

Honor Flight Clevelandwww.honorflightcleveland.com

Veterans Crisis Line:  1 800 273 8255

Women of Hope, Inc:  www.womenofhopeoh.org

Chase Bank Support for Veteranswww.ChaseMilitary.com

Justice for Veteranshttp://www.justiceforvets.org/

Google for Veterans:  http://www.googleforveterans.com/

Military Memorabilia Donations:  www.ohiohistory.org/militarycall

Ohio Veterans Memorial Parkhttp://www.ovmp.org/

Cold War Recognition Certificate:  the Cold War Recognition Certificate is a recognition certificate awarded by the Secretary of Defense to all U.S. Armed Forces personnel and qualified federal government civilian personnel who faithfully and honorably served the United States anytime during the Cold War era, which is defined as September 2, 1945 to December 26, 1991.  Anyone who served in the military or the Federal Government during this period is authorized to receive the certificate.

Congress established the Cold War certificate in Section 1084 of the fiscal 1998 National Defense Authorization Act.  The Department of Defense designated the Department of the Army as the executive agent for the Cold War Recognition Certificate program.  http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/genmedals/ht/coldwar.htm

Veteran Resources:  http://www.veteransresources.org/

Cleveland VA Regional Benefit Officehttp://www.benefits.va.gov/cleveland/

VetBiz.gov Homehttp://www.vetbiz.gov/

Joint Veterans Council of Cuyahoga Countywww.jvcocc.org

Equal Honor for Allwww.equalhonor.org

Greater Cleveland Fisher House:  The Goal of the Greater Cleveland Fisher House Organization is to raise $7,000,000 for the construction of a Fisher House (there are currently 62 houses in operation across the US, Germany, and England) that will be located on the grounds of the Louis Stokes VA Hospital in Cleveland, the third largest VA hospital in the US.  http://greaterclevelandfisherhouse.org/

Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center:

http://www.cleveland.va.gov/?wvsessionid=fe802c6620da402484b74ac24a5f1650

Greater Cleveland Veterans (GCVM) Memorial: www.clevelandvetsmemorial.org

GCVM Honor Roll:  The Citizens of Cuyahoga County have served the nation well, and paid a heavy price.  When America needed defenders the men and women of Greater Cleveland have answered the call. From 1899 to 2014, a span of 115 years, 5,552 patriots of the county have fallen in military service during time of war. Search the honor roll:   http://www.clevelandvetsmemorial.org/GCVM-honor-roll-search.asp

My HealtheVetwww.myhealth.va.gov

Rewards for Justice Website:  The Rewards for Justice program continues to be one of the most valuable U.S. Government assets in the fight against international terrorism. Established by the 1984 Act to Combat International Terrorism, Public Law 98-533, the Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security.  http://www.rewardsforjustice.net/english/most-wanted/all-regions.html

Locating Veterans and Service Members

http://www.archives.gov/veterans/locate-service-members.html

National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics: 

http://www.va.gov/vetdata/

Military News:  www.military.com

The American Legion:  http://www.legion.org/

Veterans of Foreign Wars USA:  http://www.vfw.org/

Stars and Stripes Veterans Linkhttp://www.stripes.com/news/veterans

Air Force Times:  http://www.airforcetimes.com/

Army Times:  http://www.armytimes.com/

Marine Corps Times:  http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/

Navy Times:  http://www.navytimes.com/

Defense News:  http://www.defensenews.com/

Veterans Benefits Administration:  http://www.vba.va.gov/

GI Bill website:  http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/

Veteran Resources:  http://www.veteransresources.org/

Explore VA Benefitswww.explore.VA.gov

Ohio VFW: http://www.ohiovfw.org/

Ohio Legion News: http://ohiolegionnews.com/

National Marine Corp Business Network: http://www.nmcbn.com/

About Dan Williams

Director of Media Relations for Mayor Frank G. Jackson, City of Cleveland

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